Do you dictate your children's life?

@rosdimy (3936)
Malaysia
December 17, 2008 7:36am CST
I was brought up by parents who believed that children have the right to choose certain things in life. Parents are there as teachers giving guidance and suggestions, not as total law enforcers. My parents had their reasons for giving my siblings and I a certain amount of freedom in choosing certain things which later on determined our life paths. For example I was given the choice of which primary school I wanted to enroll in. I chose a Malay medium school. Moving on in life I had the opportunity to choose between an established boarding school or a newly established junior science college. I chose the latter. Career wise I was never pressurised to choose a particular profession. I am doing the same thing to my children for the same reason. I do not want them to choose a path they hate because my spouse and I want them to. Should anything goes wrong later on, they only have themselves to blame, because the final choice was theirs. How about you, are your children doing the things that you want them to do, or are they happy with the choice(s) they make?
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11 responses
@4mymak (1796)
• Malaysia
18 Dec 08
hi rosdimy, my husband and i also try not to dictate our children's life, but we do advise them a lot.. we normally let them choose whatever they want to do.. but we usually lay out all the facts to them.. tell them the pro's and the not's.. and try to make them 'see' results of their choices - not only to them but the whole family (especially us).. like when my boys wanted to 'learn' taekwando - initially they had wanted to just 'for fun'.. but we explained to them about the hardwork + practice they have put in.. what can they expect from the whole experience - tournaments etc.. plus, the expenses that we have to bear to let take the lessons.. and let them decide.. it has always been our policy to support our children in whatever they want - as long as they are serious and determined themselves.. when 'kakak', our eldest couldnt decide if she wanted to stay in a hostel or go to a nearby school.. we try to give her the facts, the good things about staying in a hostel, the facts about both schools - their students performance and the facilities, and asked her what she does seriously wants to do (learn) in future... we also shared with her of what we thought of the whole thing - why we think which school is better - and let her decide... so far.. i think we have treated our children fairly.. except for the two very young ones, we havent forced any decision onto them..
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@rosdimy (3936)
• Malaysia
18 Dec 08
And they respect you for the respect you gave to them. Almost exactly the way my mother brought me up. Even when it came to choosing a spouse my elder brothers and sisters were allowed to make the final decision even though she had other ideas on the type of son and daughter-in-laws that she wanted. Thank you for your response. all the best, rosdimy
@violeta_va (4834)
• Australia
18 Dec 08
No I dont as such dictate my sons life he is still very young only 5 years old but he has a choice to choose what he wants to play, when to play in that rispect I dont limit him at all when its safe to do so. He is a kid and deserves to be a kid and learn from that. I had the same upbringing my parents used to check on me and give me limits but I was free to make choices within those limits. When it came to my education after I turned 14 I was free to make all my educational choices.
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@rosdimy (3936)
• Malaysia
18 Dec 08
We tend to follow either consciously or subconsciously the way our parents raised us. There may be modifications here and there but the basic framework is the same. You had good parents. Thank you for your response. all the best, rosdimy
@cripfemme (7718)
• United States
18 Dec 08
no when I have kids I will not do this as that just makes them want to rebel anyway. I want to raise someone that can think for them selves because I realized that I am not going to be around every single second to dictate everything that happens. Sooner or later there going to need to be capable of making there own decisions. The best that I can do is guide them in this process.
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@rosdimy (3936)
• Malaysia
18 Dec 08
It seems you have prepared a battle plan to face the Battle of Raising Kids. May you succeed in implementing the plan. Even though she had no formal education my mother used counselling methods effectively on me. I cannot really say on behalf of my siblings. Thank you for your response. all the best, rosdimy
@harsha27 (205)
• India
17 Dec 08
upto certain age we have to dictate our children after that they have to decide their future. Our duty is to guide and educate them in a right way.
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@rosdimy (3936)
• Malaysia
18 Dec 08
Hmm yes, otherwise they might become too dependent, unable to make own decisions on important matters. This happened to one of my friends who still wait for his mother's approval for major issues in his life even though he is fast approaching middle age. Thank you for your response. all the best, rosdimy
• Philippines
17 Dec 08
generally speaking, my parent allowed me to make decisions like what career to have, what school etc. but they sometime impose their own thing which contradict to mine. as a result we argue and at the end they still win because they are my parents. later i realized that they do it because they dont want me to be harmed by my bad decisions. they are guiding me but i missed interpret it as being strict. im a parent of a 1 yr old baby. when she grows up and capable of choosing, i will let her make decision but at the same time guiding her, helping her to make the right decision. i will explain to her what are the pros and cons. if there is a need to impose, i will but i will explain why because children needs guidance.
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@rosdimy (3936)
• Malaysia
18 Dec 08
Thank you for your response. At least your parents managed to impart their wisdom to you. There are people who completely throw away the ways of their parents due to some misunderstanding when they were growing up. Both sides are to be blamed in this matter. The parents for being inflexible. The children for not trying to see things from a different perspective. all the best, rosdimy
@MichaelJay (1100)
17 Dec 08
I agree with guidance and 'tough love'. Sometimes children have to accept that parents know best for no other reason than they DO know best. This is their experience in life and an erstwhile desire for their children not to make the same mistakes as they did or suffer hardships like they did. However, it gets to a tage about 13-14-15 years where children begin to form strong ideas about what they ant to do and denying them any expression in this area can lead to bitterness and resentments which sometimes last their hole lives. For parents, it's a delicate balancing act betwen authority, concern, and the need for the child's 'freedom'.
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@rosdimy (3936)
• Malaysia
18 Dec 08
As someone older than I am I assume you had a lot of experience in parenting. My spouse is the opposite to me. Living not far away from her parents made it difficult to raise the children. Whenever she disagreed with me she would go back to her parents and presented her version of the story to them. Our first son wanted to apply to a particular school. His mother was against it and sought reinforcements from her relatives. Even though he is now an aircraft engine technician, I heard him once voicing out his regret for being forced to go to a different school. Guess who got the blame. Thank you for your response. all the best, rosdimy
@jordan04n (463)
• United States
26 Dec 08
As parents we provide the education and all of it they want to accomplish in their academic field in order to make them productive independent citizens. They choose their field of study. Our son,39,is a mechanical engineer, daughter,40,is a teacher and other daughter,27,is in the medical field. They are accomplished in their own right. They chose their university within reason and scholar shipping. We chose their undergraduate school to fit the needs of the individual child. Our only request was that they graduate, get a job and support themselves and be self accomplished. Hope it works. So far so good.
@rosdimy (3936)
• Malaysia
26 Dec 08
I think they appreciate the help and support you gave them when they were still under your care. Most children do. I have met cases of resentment because the parents forced them to choose a career which they were not interested in. Thank you for your response. all the best, rosdimy
• China
18 Dec 08
Now i don't have a child. But I think no matter you have a child or not, you shouldn't dictate your children. If they do something wrong, you should say them politely, or give them good examples.
@rosdimy (3936)
• Malaysia
18 Dec 08
Thank you for your response. Do you get the idea from the way you were brought up or from your own formulation based on observations? Thank you for your response. all the best, rosdimy
• Philippines
17 Dec 08
I am a daughter and my parents dedicated their life to us. We are still intact even if one of my brother is married and prefer to stay in Doha Qatar. Stick with communication that is our family's tradition.
@rosdimy (3936)
• Malaysia
18 Dec 08
Is the communication you are having in your family a two-way communication or one side overwhelms the other? Are you trying to imply that your parents give you freedom in making decisions? If so is it complete freedom? Thank you for your response. all the best, rosdimy
@andezurc (20)
• Philippines
17 Dec 08
Everyone is entitled to a personal freedom that no one is permitted to suppress. Everyone should be given the freedom to decide what is right for their own sake and live their life as they wish, happy or not, rich or not, wiser or not, married or not, educated or not.
@rosdimy (3936)
• Malaysia
18 Dec 08
So what level of freedom do you give to your kids? Let them choose and pick without your interference or you are always there for them? Thank you for your response. all the best, rosdimy
@katsmeow1213 (29047)
• United States
17 Dec 08
Their paths in life will definitly be chosen by them. I'll let them choose the college to go to, and choose the careers they'd like. The only thing I will do is encourage them to make good choices. I didn't go to college, and hubby dropped out of college, so we know that life can be difficult without a college education. The only thing I expect of my children is that they do go to college, which one and for what will be their choosing, but I do want them to at least go to college and get an education, and hopefully a good job. Even as young as they are now I tell them on a regular basis how important college is to their future. Everytime they bring home a report card, especially my older son who does not get straight A's, I have a talk with him about how important his education is and how he needs to try his best. Hopefully when the time comes he'll heed my advice.
@rosdimy (3936)
• Malaysia
18 Dec 08
Sounds like wisdom coming out from someone who had learned and understand what it is really like to be an effective parent. The respect and trust of your children towards you must be high. Thank you for your response. all the best, rosdimy
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