Most parents want to do what they think is best for their children. They want to guide them in their decisions, be there for them when they fall, and provide them with the tools to succeed. They do this because they love them in a selfless, unconditional way.
Yet, sometimes the level of parent involvement is so high that it becomes counterproductive. Instead of helping the child, they make their sons and daughters indecisive and weak. On other occasions, they don’t want to lose face and would rather give a wrong answer to their children’s questions than say they don’t know.
So, how does one balance being a present, loving parent with letting kids decide for themselves? The answer to this question is unfortunately not as straightforward as one would hope for.
Being a good parent is a trial and error process that requires time, flexibility, and commitment. More often than not, you also have to consult with others who might know more than you and rely on their expertise. After all, if your car breaks down and you don’t know anything about vehicles, it’s best to take it to the mechanic. If there is a problem with the old AC in your house and you need to replace it, it would serve you well to hire the services of a reputable air-conditioning company.
With that in mind, let us look at three important decisions in every person’s life and how parents can help their kids make them in the best possible way.
Where to Study
Given a chance, few kids would say no to international education. And why would they? There are many benefits to it. First, you get to see and experience a different culture. Second, studying abroad is a source of pride and a differentiating factor with other students. Third, you can make a wide variety of friends and build long-lasting relationships.
Still, going to a different country is not for everybody. Some kids can’t even handle moving to another city.
As parents, the best thing to do is ask ourselves if we have provided our children with the right tools for them to survive without us. Once we’ve done that, we should engage in an open, honest conversation with our kids. We should listen to them and also express our worries. Only then can we make the most suitable decision.
Who to Marry
A person who is ready to get married is no longer a child. But this doesn’t mean he is already an adult and can make this decision on his own. Often, young adults are so in love with one another that they fail to see the pitfalls of a specific relationship and ignore the red flags. It is in these cases when they need a solid piece of advice the most.
Of course, if a man marries a woman, he will hopefully spend the rest of his life with her, not her parents. Even so, his mother and father should look closely into the relationship but without interfering. Their job is to provide a different set of eyes, one that is dispassionate and unbiased.
If you don’t like your future children-in-law, be honest about it with your kids. But make sure you have their best interest at heart and not your own. Ensure your feelings are not based on personal opinions but rather on a sincere outlook of the relationship.
Whether to Change Careers
Changing careers is one of the biggest decisions a human being will make during his lifetime. It can also be one of the best or worst, depending on where you end up. If you can find a hidden passion or discover something new, you will wish you had done it sooner. On the other hand, if you find yourself unemployed or stuck, you will probably regret it.
When your kids find themselves at the crossroads of their professional lives, this is when your guidance and experience as a parent are most needed. The biggest reason is a straightforward one. You are older than your children and, as a result, have more experience than them. You’ve been through the ups and downs of life and might be familiar with what they are going through.
As always, be mindful of telling your kids what you know without deciding for them. A good piece of career advice is something everyone will take with open arms.
You can help your children make three important decisions: where to study, who to marry, and whether to change their career or stay in the same position. If you do it right, your kids will not only thank you for it but also reap the resulting benefits for the remainder of their lives.