MY MONEY, MY RULES: HOW PARENTS USE FINANCES TO DICTATE THEIR CHILDREN’S FUTURE

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“Are you a hostage to your parent’s wallet?”

Do you or someone you know have a parent that have told them that if you don’t pursue the career endeavor I want, you will not be receiving my financial support? I have heard parents tell this to their children. And the result of not pursuing what I want as a parent is either refusing to support your career choice or some parents have went as far as to kick you out of the will. The push for students having their career path chosen for them is more of a foreign decision than an American one. Yet there are families here in the United States who carry this same ideology. Luckily for me, I didn’t grow up in this sort of household.

You see, for me, my mother always encouraged me to pursue what could not only make me successful, but something that I loved. She not once told me nor my sisters that if we didn’t pursue what she wanted, she would not be there for us. That freedom to know that whatever career endeavor I chose she would be behind me, is what I needed. Yet, I wish more kids had that type of moral support in their lives. So, when I told my mother I wanted to pursue a career as a writer, she was right behind me. But why aren’t more parents behind their children’s plans.

For starters, parents don’t take their children serious. There is a lot of work that must be put into being what you want to be in life. Parents feel they should steer their children in the right direction because their kids can not be taken serious. For instance, a kid tells their parent/s they want to be an archaeologist. Now archaeologist don’t make that much of an income, so you have to really be passionate about being one. Parents look at their children and go, “You’re not serious about this.” And a lot of times they’re right. They know you’re not willing to put in the time and work. So, in order for them to respect you, they must see your progress.

Now, there is another aspect of parenting when it comes to their children choosing their goals in life. And that is that parents don’t want to fund something that is not a good enough return on their investment. Children are an investment and when you put your life into them and they throw it away, it becomes angering. They think to themselves, if I put this much into you, I hope to get this much back for you. Meaning, it can cost $1 million believe it or not to raise a kid from age 0 (at birth) – 25/26 years old when they graduate college in graduate school. So pursuing acting, writing, singing, dance, sculpting, archaeology, etc. that has to do with the arts and/or humanities is seen by parents as a waste of time. They want you to pursue a career in law, business, engineering, or medicine.

In the end, parents want to steer you because they think they know what’s best for you. But in reality, for them to force you into a career field not knowing if you possess a skill or desire is pure selfish. They are stripping you of an even better life. So in my opinion, if you want to go off and create your own future, you have to be willing to disobey your parents. Which is hard because most of us want to do what’s expected of us. But the only way to show your parents you’re serious is to stop receiving their help and build it yourself. Because ultimately, your parents want to respect to you. And nothing is more respectful than building your own future independent of them.

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