Every month the high school has their parent meetings, a chance to catch up with what is going on at the school and what our kids need to do to keep moving forward. And every month the counselors that speak at these meetings remind us that our kids are growing up and they should try to focus on things they are interested in so they can choose good careers and have realistic long term goals.
Also at these meetings they sometimes have kids come up and talk about their experience at the school and how they have been able to reach their full potential by having some ideas in mind of what the future can be for them. One of the kids that talked a few months ago mentioned how he went into high school, 9th grade, with 10 high school credits, and kept pushing himself to go further, with the help and push from his parents and family. Now 10 credits is really not too much but I wonder what it took to get this kid to finish that many courses throughout middle school. What kind of plans did his family have for him, or what it just him?
It got me wondering about what I expect from my kids? Trying to find a good balance of high standards but flexible expectations can be a challenge. It is easy to set our kids up for success and then something happens and they are not prepared for that failure or detour.
Are you teaching your children how to deal with a small derailment in plans? If you aren't really sure what those might be then how to you give them the right tools to deal with things?
I do know parents that have their children's lives all mapped out. They have picked what profession they think their kids will succeed in and have it all set up and the kids do not necessarily agree with the career but do so because their parents are making them. I don't think that is fair. I understand wanting your child to be successful but they have to like what they are doing and have some input on their future. I will support whatever it is they want but I can not choose their futures for them. I don't want to push him in another direction. I want all of my kids to figure out what they want to do on their own and go for it.
While I think it is nice to have a set plan in mind with an end goal I think it is equally important to have a few options. Lets see, Ill go with my middle son, he is in 9th grade and has been set on joining the Army since the summer before he went to high school. He originally started out wanting to go into the Coast Guard but has changed his mind to Army. It is a great goal and a great future option but I always am telling him he needs to find a back up just in case. He does not seem to understand why I am trying to push him into taking a few classes at the technical school because those are not the things he is heading towards. I have brought up to him that even though that is not the path he has in mind it is good to have certificates in other things just in case. What happens if he is at track practice one day and hurts his leg so he is not able to meet the physical requirements of the Army?
Things that he has little to no control over can change his path in the blink of an eye and I, as his mom, want him to be prepared to have options.
Do you have set expectations for your kids? Or do you allow them to make their own decisions?