How to Let Your Kids Chart Their Own Paths

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How much do you trust your kids? Do you trust them to choose the college course they want to take and pursue their childhood dreams? Have you ever belittled what and who they want to be in the future? Relax and let them be. If you trust the person that you molded them to be, then you should trust the choices they will make for their future. A lot of parents make the mistake of controlling their kids when in fact, that only pushes them away from you. The greatest gift is to trust them to make their own mistakes, own up to them, and stand up and learn from them.

Get to Know the Real Them

Your children have a preconceived notion of who and what you want them to become. Don’t ever belittle them and think they don’t understand that you’re trying to manipulate them to become a doctor, lawyer, engineer, or something else. Kids know when they are being guided or pushed to the “right path.” That is not lost on them. But it may be lost on you. Check yourself from time to time. Are you really not pushing them to a certain profession?

Talk to Them Like the Adults They Are

If your kids are old enough to go to college then they are old enough to know the consequences of their choices. Talk to them like adults. What are your apprehensions about letting them take a certain course? What are their misgivings about the path that you want for them? A lot of parents are worried about the future of certain professions seeing as technology changes the demands in the industry. Remember, however, that times have changed. Your children can eventually take CPD courses that will upgrade their knowledge about the field they want to enter.

Don’t Think That Their World Revolves Around You

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It is the height of insensitivity and selfishness to think and believe that your kids’ lives revolve around you. They don’t. No matter how much you try to steer them to what you believe is the right direction, they are their own persons. They have their own dreams. They want to make their own mistakes. Respect their decision and don’t think too highly of yourself. You are not alone in influencing their dreams. Plenty of factors go into their career choices.

Respect Their Rights

Sure, your kids will depend on you until they can stand on their own feet. For some, that might happen sooner than expected. For others, it might not happen until your kids have graduated from college. But though you are financially supporting them, that does not give you the right over their choices. Certainly, that doesn’t take away their right to participate in decisions affecting them. So, don’t plan what their futures will be like. Make sure that they are part of every decision that will affect them.

Learn to Haggle and Negotiate

Sometimes, parents tend to be set in their own ways. They want something to happen, and they believe that the only way for that to happen is if their kids follow their directions. Why don’t you negotiate with them? Negotiation leads to compromises. As long as you don’t push for what you want and respect what they want, you can find a middle ground.

Your kids will be happy to give your plan a shot, too. Children never want to disappoint their parents. But remember to keep to your promise. If after the compromises they made, they still don’t want to go down your route, then don’t force it. Part of haggling and negotiating is knowing also when to back down and accept defeat.

Talk About the Big Stuff

A lot of family relationships are good at hiding away from the big stuff. You talk about a TV series and explain in detail a basketball game, but you try not to talk about topics that might lead to arguments. The point is that families often argue. It’s part of what makes it a functional relationship. You have to talk about the hard stuff, so you don’t sweat the small stuff later on.

The relationship between parents and children is always a tricky subject to discuss. Every family is different. And while no formula can dictate how to manage your relationship with your children, one thing is for sure: respect them, respect their decisions, and respect their right to make their own mistakes. In turn, they will chart their own paths and discover how to stand up after a loss. Any parent will be proud of such an accomplishment.

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