How crazy are your parents
Not a solid rock - if your parents do not approve of your concept of life
How do I write a good cover letter? What do I have to consider if I am still working while studying? And how do I get the most out of my tiny shared room? In our #endlichErwachsen theme week, punctually for the start of the semester and application, we examine all aspects of growing up and talk about what we never learned for life in school - but would have liked to have known.
Ideally, of course, your parents should be there to give you support and advice. No matter how high, crazy, insane or unreasonable your choice of profession or your life concept may be. Some people are lucky enough to have their parents give them exactly this unreserved support. True to the motto Follow your dreams. But what do you do when your parents don't like your chosen path at all and even put obstacles in your way? Bow? Do what you want first, so as not to be left with nothing? Make you strangers?
Take my friend Anna * for example. When she was growing up, she really wanted to do something with art. She liked to paint for her life and was fascinated by all creativity. Nevertheless, she was not allowed to go to a high school with a focus on art, but was sent to a school that she hated and was shaped by natural sciences. Of course, she had it much better than many other young people who can't even go to high school, even though they'd like to. But it still hurt to hear from her parents every day that her dream was humbug and that she would never find work in this field. She was even told that she would end up under the bridge if she did "anything with art". Today, by the way, she works as a photographer and freelance artist in Berlin and has not involuntarily spent a single night under a bridge.
So her parents determined the school Anna should go to, her advanced courses and later also her studies. As leverage there was on the one hand the fear of poverty and on the other hand an eternal mantra about the fact that this was the sensible way. Anna was at least able to assert herself a little while studying, instead of a natural science, as her parents demanded and encouraged, she studied art history. After all.
It's not that their parents didn't support them or showed any interest in them. They just weren't interested in Anna's interests. During the holidays she did internships in biochemistry laboratories and attended taster courses at the Technical University. Her parents kept coming up with new things that would later push the child into research as successfully as possible. That was her dream. Not Anna's. But somehow that never really counted.
At some point, after several years, Anna's parents gave up. They knew that she would no longer be a university lecturer. Anna had dropped out of two courses, was more involved in university politics and had never really aimed for a degree, because although she enjoyed studying, she never wanted to work in the field. She wasn't really interested in research. However, until she was 27, Anna did not dare to pursue her dream. The fear of failure was too great, as she was told nothing else during her entire adolescence. In the end, she was so unhappy that she had no choice but to throw everything in order to become an artist. Now she gets along with her parents even better than ever before, as the relationship is much more relaxed. There are no longer any expectations that need to be met, and Anna never tires of explaining to her parents what she's doing. And the? They are proud of their daughter, even if they don't always understand everything.
To be able to assert yourself against your own parents is one thing, but it is another to find new paths and to tread these paths with the self-confidence, as one would do with a familiar path. Yes, our parents are older than us and have more life experience. Nevertheless, they don't always see the big picture either, but move within their own horizon. The problem is that we are often dependent on them. Not only emotionally, but also financially. And we know almost nothing other than the life that they always lived by us. To imagine a concept outside of this, and then to meet the resistance of the parents and to come up against it, requires a lot of strength and a good deal of self-confidence. A really darn situation. Integrating the parents into your own life, which has nothing to do with your life plan, is really anything but an easy task.
Of course, there are no generally applicable rules for convincing your parents of your path. No matter whether it is about financial support, you like to keep in touch with them or the house blessing should continue to hang.
No matter how strict or stubborn your parents are, they are likely to love you very much and want you to be fine. If you are really passionate about something, be it an apprenticeship you don't understand, a year abroad or an internship, burn for what you want. Do not hide your enthusiasm for a dream, because otherwise they will not know how important it is to you. Even if you have to go your own way, a lot will be easier for you if you are really passionate about what you do. So don't choose the easiest path, choose the path that will make your heart jump.
Take them with you whenever you can. Maybe then they will understand you better and that's almost half the battle. Your parents lead their own lives, they have their own habits and their own daily lives, and it's pretty hard for most people to visualize a life outside of that. If you actively integrate them into your dream, take them to games or workshops, show them your pictures, maybe even draw or photograph them together, explain every single flower to them on every walk and they are thus actively a part of your life, they will understand your life plan may be better and you are much more easily able to support you, to be there for you and to remain part of your life. Explain to them what they do not understand, because this is the only way that the foreign does not remain foreign.
Of course, if your parents are completely reluctant, it can be difficult to negotiate a solution that both of you are happy with. But you will be amazed at the compromises even the most stubborn of people are capable of. Take away their fear of your dreams, because it is often not much more than that. It is the fear of the future of their own child that often makes parents act as they do. If you need the support - financially or emotionally - from your parents, you can meet somewhere in the middle. Maybe you will do the longed-for internship in the town next door and not at the other end of the world. Or you are just starting an apprenticeship in the field that you want to study later and that your parents don't like at all. But please don't make too many compromises. It is still your life and you have to decide how you want to shape this life.
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