web analytics
July 4, 2015 / 17 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


Parents: Helicopter, Submarine Or Booster Rocket?

Touro-053014

A bright, articulate accounting major, just a few months away from graduation, visited my office. As we discussed what kind of position and in what type of accounting firm she wanted to work, it became increasingly clear that she did not have a passion, let alone a real interest, in becoming an accountant. My question: “What do you really want to be?” Her answer: “A writer!”

My follow up: “So why did you become an accounting major?” Her response really floored me. “Because that’s all my parents would pay for!”

Another time, a parent called me to say he wanted his son to become an accountant. Why? “It is a solid, respectable career where he can make a decent living. After he has a good source of income and fall-back position, he can study what he really wants.” Both of these students will have to earn 150 credits over a 4-year period studying something they have little interest in!

As parents, it is a given that we love our children and want what’s best for them. How do we go about making that happen? (1) The child makes his own career decision or (2) the parents make the choice. The best approach is somewhere in between with somewhat more emphasis on option 1.

A parent may say, “I’m paying for your education; therefore I need to have at least a major, if not the whole, part in the decision.” However, a parent has to be extremely careful not to be biased by:

(1) An assumption that I know you better than you know you. This “Father Knows Best” approach implies that I, the parent, have more life experience and it is in your best interest to listen to me, or you are too immature to make this decision.

(2) The fear that you will not be successful in pursuing your career choice. The toxic message here could be that you are not smart, ambitious or passionate enough about your choice to succeed.

(3) An unfulfilled dream on the part of the parent. Failing to become what you, the parent, wanted to be, does not give you the right to encourage or force your child to fulfill your dreams.

Given my dual role as a parent and Director of Career Services, I have a unique perspective that I want to share, along with some specific suggestions, on how to navigate this path. If a parent asked me for my advice regarding helping his young adult find the right career for her, here is what I would suggest:

Know the awesome influence you have as a parent. Children will hear what you say or don’t say; non-verbal messages speak volumes and are extremely potent. For example, rolling your eyes when a child says he would like to be a __________ may cause his idea to be forever discarded. There was a NY subway sign a few years ago that showed a picture of a child’s eyes and ears and labeled them as the “most sensitive recording devices known to mankind!” Think about the messages you received from your parents that stayed with you long after you left home. We need to be extremely careful what we communicate to our children. Our work and life experiences will certainly influence our views. One parent confided, “Finding a job is the most difficult task in the world.” A few days later his son was sitting in my office saying, “Finding a job is the most difficult task in the world!” We talk about parents being “helicopter parents” hovering over their child’s progress at school and even on the job. I would like to suggest another label, “submarine parents,” who can undermine a child’s choices without the child consciously noticing it; this approach in the name of love can surely sink a child’s real purpose.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Parents: Helicopter, Submarine Or Booster Rocket?”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
UN Human Rights Council
UN HRC Condemns Israel (But Not Hamas) for War Crimes
Latest Sections Stories
South-Florida-logo

Orlando was once a place where people came only to visit and vacation. Now it is home to a burgeoning Torah community, a place Jewish families can be proud to call home.

South-Florida-logo

The smuggler’s life has been changed forever. He is faced with a major criminal charge. He will probably be sent to prison.

South-Florida-logo

“Thanks to a local philanthropist who shares our core mission, we now are able to connect more Jewish teens to Israel than ever before,” said Todd Cohn, executive director of Southern NCSY.

In September 2013 he was appointed head rabbi of the IDF Central Command and is currently in charge of special projects for the IDF chief rabbinate.

Last month we outlined how a few years after Judah Touro’s death a public movement was inaugurated by the citizens of New Orleans to erect a monument to his memory, and that opposition to this tribute came from a number of rabbis throughout the country who claimed that Judaism forbade the erection of any graven […]

Marceau suggested a dark reason for his wordless art: “The people who came back from the [concentration] camps were never able to talk about it…. My name is Mangel. I am Jewish. Perhaps that, unconsciously, contributed towards my choice of silence.”

Anna Henriques, who hopes to one day head back to Jamaica, says, “Rabbi Raskin must be willing to respect what exists in Jamaica. The way to the future is to gently bring in the traditions of the past and at the same time embrace the idiosyncrasies of the Jamaican people.”

The Silver Platter has it all: gorgeous photography, oodles of useful tips and, more importantly, incredible recipes that you will find yourself making again and again.

It may be that seeking to connect with the past is rooted in the impermanence and impersonality of modern life.

It is very hard to build a healthy marriage when you do not have good role models.

My best book is one that hasn’t been published yet.

We tend to justify and idealize this division with pride attributing these tendencies as demonstrating a higher level of kedushah.

More Articles from Ron Ansel
Touro--090514

Make sure that you know what the policies are and that you adhere to them scrupulously.

Touro-053014

As parents, it is a given that we love our children and want what’s best for them. How do we go about making that happen?

One way to view a student, or any human being, is as an amalgamation of four components: physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual.

Cover letters have long been associated with resumes and the job application process. In a time and a place when people were actually mailing resumes, the cover letter was a vital component that allowed the applicant to introduce himself and spell out why he was applying for a particular job.

So a student walks into a job interview with a mid-size accounting firm in Manhattan. His uncle arranged the interview and the student had not visited with Career Services. Let’s look at his professional persona – the image he projects to those in the world of work. Our young man is dressed in a suit with a white shirt and tie, black shoes and is carrying a leather portfolio with his resume tucked inside. Let’s zoom in a little more closely at the image he projects to the interviewer.

Scene One:

After noticing that you can’t log into your computer, your pulse quickens as you are called into your supervisor’s office. S/he has some bad news. You are being laid off. You have 15 minutes to clean out your desk and surrender your cell phone before security escorts you out of the building. Job termination, especially in the corporate world, can be heartless.

One of the best aspects of the frum community is our dedication to chesed. From a myriad of organizations to shul committees to neighbors doing whatever they can do to help those in need, chesed is one of the main pillars of our community.

A negative person may use words that are bland and lack vibrancy, like “did” and “worked” instead of words like “successfully accomplished” and “rigorously completed” which convey a more positive, powerful side.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/potpourri/parents-helicopter-submarine-or-booster-rocket/2014/05/30/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: