Do you Crush Their Dreams?

Julie really wants to be a Broadway singer, but she can’t carry a tune. What do you do?

Moms Talk is a weekly feature on all Lehigh Valley Patches in which local parents, caregivers and other members of the community are invited to share opinions and advice on parenting topics.

This week’s Moms Talk question relates to childhood dreams and career aspirations.

At four, you probably left your son’s dreams about being Buzz Lightyear alone. That’s pretty much normal and healthy, right? Likewise, your daughter’s 6-year-old aspirations to take over for Dora-the-Explorer? What about the 12-year-old’s plans to be the next Derek Jeter? (Star Short Stop for those of you who don’t follow Yankee baseball.) How about the kid that’s heading off to college with plans of an acting career? As a parent, are you paralyzed with visions of the “starving artist,” subtly encouraging your child to choose a more reliable, back-up profession? Or, do you get behind your child’s passion with the same enthusiasm that you supported the earlier cartoon-inspired fantasies?

Basically, here’s what we want to know:

Do you give your children career advice that comes from the heart or do you try to protect their feelings?

Our Moms Council members include: 

  • Lisa Amey of Upper Milford Township is a stay-at-home mother of two. A past president of the MOMS Club of Emmaus and longtime member of MOPs (Mothers of Preschoolers), Lisa is an Independent Consultant for Arbonne International. 
  • Lisa Drew of Emmaus is a certified nutritionist and personal trainer, wellness and fitness coach with more than 17 years of experience. She is the mother of a 13-year-old girl and a 9-year-old boy.
  • Jennifer Elston of Emmaus has almost two decades of professional experience in child development and counseling. She is currently a stay-at-home mom to two beautiful girls. Together with her husband, Chris, she owns Christopher Elston Photography.
  • Jeanne Lombardo of Nazareth is the mother of a 10-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl. She’s new to the Lehigh Valley, having moved to Nazareth from Bergen County, NJ in January.
  • Lisa Merk of Lower Macungie is a stay-at-home mother of four boys – a 12-year-old and 6-year-old triplets. Lisa is a past president of the MOMS Club of Lower Macungie East. In her “spare” time, Lisa teaches piano to school-age children.
  • Zoila Bonilla Paul of Bethlehem is a stay-at-home mom to two girls – a 5-year-old and a 14-month-old. Zoila is a member of her local “moms’ club” and says she is “well-versed in the fun that children can bring.”
  • Beth Sharpless of Emmaus works part time in a local emergency department as a nurse and part time from home as a customer support specialist. She has two children -- a boy who is almost 2 and a 5-year-old girl. She says they love spending time outdoors and dancing.

If you would like to become a part of the Moms Council and/or have ideas for future Moms Talk questions, please email jennifer.marangos@patch.com.

Shannon Hall Minnick September 23, 2012 at 06:29 PM
Be realistic with them, and let them know that certain careers are extremely competitive. Encourage them to go for their dreams, but also have a backup plan just in case. Eventually, they will figure out for themselves whether or not they truly have the talent and drive to make it in those careers that more of a long shot. I've had this talk several times with my youngest son about baseball! He still believes he might make it to the major leagues, but also plans to go to college to pursue teaching or science.
GrowUpSaucon September 23, 2012 at 07:02 PM
If they are willing and it's safe ...let them try. If they do well..let them know it. If they didn't do well..guide them (carefully) into something else.
Beth September 23, 2012 at 07:12 PM
Let them try and try their hardest, to reach for the sky. Also let them know about the realities of life that it is very competitive out there and that try as they may, sometimes certain goals are a lot harder to attain than others. Usually these things will work themselves out. Try to encourage them not to put all their eggs in one basket.
Jennifer Elston September 26, 2012 at 09:06 PM
I think you let them go for it but always be honest with them. They need to figure it out on their own.
Lisa Amey September 27, 2012 at 11:29 AM
When they are very young, encouragment to aspire and dream is a good thing. When they are older and getting ready to make important decisions that will affect the rest of their lives, it's another one of those tough parenting situations where we navigate a careful balance between being supportive and protecting them from potential let-downs. If only we had crystal balls...


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »