My youngest daughter has always had a real flair for math and economics and for as long as I can remember it was her dream to go and work on Wall Street when she graduated from college. My husband is a banker and I think that his career was something that always inspired her, and we were both looking forward to the day that she would get her brokerage license. About a year before finishing college however she threw us a curveball and told us that she planned to study performing arts at AMDA. We realized from the AMDA reviews that this was a very reputable college but it wasn’t exactly what we had in mind. Chrissy will graduate from AMDA next year and she has not regretted her decision for a second, dealing with that original choice however was not easy.
My first reaction when she told us of her plans were ‘no you will not’ possibly not the best parenting but it was just how I felt at the time, and my husband was the same. After doing some talking between ourselves however we realized that we were pushing our dreams for her rather than supporting what her dreams were. The issue however is that if you go along with what your child wants, there is a risk that they make a mistake, perhaps they changed their mind because of something a friend said or something as trivial as that. All I can say if this happens to you is to try and understand your child’s reasoning.
There has to be an element of trust between parents and their children and at some point you have to accept that this is the child that you have raised and you must put your faith in them that they know what they are doing. Chrissy was always a girl with her head screwed firmly on her shoulders and so eventually we had to accept her choice, and accept that we had raised a headstrong girl who knew what she wanted to do.
At one stage my husband and I considered taking this decision into our own hands and forcing our child to go and study economics like we had always planned. Once we considered this decision however we knew that the only result would be that she loathed us and what we had done, and that she probably wouldn’t give college her all because it wasn’t what she really wanted to do. You have to allow kids the chance to make their own mistakes, even if that mistake is their college education.
We supported her decision to go to AMDA and she has had the greatest time there, she will soon be graduating and then looking to fulfill her dream of working on Broadway, and we couldn’t be prouder, after all, it is only a couple of streets away from where we had originally thought she’d end up!