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How to Keep Your Child From Achieving Their Dreams…

03/12/2012

Yes you read it right. Let’s throw out the old “they should do better than you” mentality. How can we make sure our children have mediocre lives like us? Who wants a child that will make more money than them? I mean, who wants some punk kid thinking they’re better than you? In my culture, it seems that’s the way of thinking. Give me this moment to rag on my own people. Since I’m Latino, I can talk about my own kind (That is until I prove I was adopted). This applies to many “peoples” but I want to focus on the Salsa (the dip and the dance) nation.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my Puerto Rican people. Viva la Raza! (We do say that right?) I believe we have a bit of a cultural flaw though. You can call it an unchanged generational habit….that thing that should have changed over time but didn’t.

As a child I was always a dreamer. And when I dreamed, I dreamed BIG. I remember seeing the making to the Michael Jackson thriller video and I was intrigued. I loved the cameras and the lights…and the makeup (who can forget that). As I got older, that love never changed. I would sometimes prefer watching behind the scenes (or BTS) videos rather than the actual film. I was a geek…what can I say. What am I talking about…I’m still a geek. Filmmaking was a dream for me and I had a great passion for it. I, for one, had parents that were really supportive of my crazy dream. The support helped to turn the dream into a goal. That goal is something I strive to do till this day. Unfortunately, my story is not that common among the Latino community.

Every child has dreams. Every child is asked what they want to be when they grow up. Every child is told they can be that person. Too often in the Latino community, I see a decline in that “supportive” parenting as the child gets older. Instead of reinforcing that dream, different priorities are pressured on the child. It’s no longer “What do you want to be?”, its “What can you get right now to make money?” That is the generational habit that is unchanged. This way of thinking that says “that’s a great dream, but what are you REALLY going to do?”

You can see the decline of support in the child’s life as he gets into adulthood. It’s a story I’ve heard a thousand times…I had to work to support my family…I had to quit school to support my family…I had to give up my dreams to make money. Granted, I understand people have different financial responsibilities. But the support and the drive to achieve something greater should never stop. I know people that have achieved great success and they have come from the worst of the worst. There are those among the Latino community that have ignored the old mentality. What separated them from us? Drive…Support…Belief in your child.

Believe in your child’s potential. Latinos, not everyone with huge success came from that…they worked at it. There is this misleading thinking that those that are rich were born rich and we have to work whatever we can get. Yes there are some who are handed success but it’s not that common. Why should that stop us anyway? Why should we give up because your parents, your grandparents and their grandparents all said that we have to “do what we can”? That old mentality is about thinking (and stressing) on the “now” and forgetting about the “future”. We have to stop using our situation as an excuse to drop your dreams.  All it takes is support from ONE. All it takes is YOU believing in your child…and I mean TRULY believing.

Why do you think I haven’t quit on my crazy dreams of being a filmmaker? And trust me I’ve been the person who is the “oddball”; who doesn’t care what my “people” say I should be doing. I might be crazy (as illustrated well throughout the blog)…but I’m not a quitter.  I know I will make sure that my kids know, without a doubt, that Daddy worked for his dreams AND I believe they CAN and WILL do better than me….and I’m not ashamed of that.

ArtisticWC

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Geoff R. permalink
    03/12/2012 11:14 pm

    Reminds me of the story of Taylor Wilson… he’s a 17 yr old who built a fusion reactor. As a kid, he had some not-so-mainstream dreams and thankfully his parents supported and encouraged that dream. In return, his interests and efforts intensified and have already led to a healthy dose of success.

    • 03/13/2012 8:32 am

      Great things can happen when you’re “Supported and encouraged”. That’s all it takes.

  2. Jessica permalink
    03/13/2012 10:44 am

    I absolutely agree husband! Especially since I am “living” the dream with you! I LOVE YOU!

  3. Anonymous permalink
    03/13/2012 7:49 pm

    wait……are you in the process of building a fusion reactor?!

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