Monday, August 2, 2010

the thing about dreams

I was watching Wife Swap friday night and as usual they had some fascinating families. 

Really where do they find these people? {My cousin informed me that she has seen people "recruiting" in Hollywood Studios, note to self avoid that part of Disney world}

They always pick such diametrically opposing families and this episode was no exception, but it did make me wonder something. I'll spit it out and fill in the rest later....when is it a parents role to push their children to achieve their dreams and when is it as irresponsible as flushing gold coins down the toilet?

Side note: since I know first hand that elmo underpants do indeed flush down a regular toilet I'm guessing that gold coins would also go down without much fuss.

One of the families last friday was guilty, in my opinion, of flushing down gold coins.  They had so far spend 20k on their sons rap career.  I think its also worth mentioning that he was something like 10 or 12 and sucked at rapping.  But they shoveled a ton of money into it, hired him a body guard {so five year old girls wouldn't rip off his necklaces} and COVERED their car with his face.

And so back to my question? Should you really push your kids to do something that has NOOOOOOO chance of ever panning out?

Are the parents hoping their kids hit some pay dirt?  Are they blinded by love to the fact that their kid has no real talent?  Are they living their dreams thru their kids?
Whats the deal?!

Parents are here to do a couple of things, give love, some guidance, impart some manners and morals {double check the morals part, the world could use less Madoffs and other assorted douchebags} somewhere in guidance and love is also inspiring them to pursue their dreams.  

Clearly some common sense is also needed in parenting. Too bad it always seems to be in short supply. 

I don't even need to ask dash-1 what he wants to be when he grows up, it hasn't changed in three years, his life goal is to be an astronaut.  Although he is willing to concede that should he not make it up to space he'd settle for mission control.  

I just asked Dash-2 and today he wants to be a cowboy. He is also now running around in his underpants and a cowboy hat screaming "giddy up".  I don't know much about cowboys is there more to it then that? I think he has the idea.

So am I going to take out a giant ass loan and send one kid to a ranch and one to space camp?  
Well actually I think space camp could be a worthwhile endeavour, really, push your kid to be an astronaut and whats the worst that happens?  He accidentally ends up with an advanced degree in something?  

And ranching is a worthy life as well.  Well shoot my kids have good taste.  But here's the thing, if they don't have any real talent I'm not spending an arm and a leg, even if they love it.  I want to encourage them and I want them to have dreams and something that they work towards, but at the end of the day, not everyone is meant to do everything. 

What bothered me about the family in Wife Swap, they had other kids {four I think} and they were completely ignoring the other kids to funnel all their energy and money into only one of their kids dream.  They even made the other kids "work" for the rapper.  At what point is it a parents responsibility to point out that a dream just might be that.... a dream?

I know we like to say that if you work hard you can be anything,  well, that just isn't so true.  Dash-2 likes horses, but given his body type and his genes, I could spend 20k and he's never going to be a jockey.  EVER. 

Its probably more realistic that he'd go into space first. Or turn into a horse.

That family has spend 20k and they have a mediocre rapper with an inflated ego and no real discernible talent and they have ignored their other kids.  I'm thinking that money might have been better spent in a 401K or shoot, space camp or buying some cattle and turning him into a cowboy.    

So what's your take on it? And what does your kid want to be?  Any other cowboys out there? We could start a ranch.....


  1. I think my boys want to be cowboys too :)

    I really don't see spending large amounts of money on something that I didn't 100% feel was right for my kid.

    I think the best thing to do is try different things when they come up and see where your kids wants to go.

    But see we are balanced people, I don't think Wife Swap has very many of those ;)

  2. Greg loves Wife Swap. My favorite part was when the dad was like, well he has a billboard. Anybody can have a billboard if they PAY for it. It doesn't actually mean you're successful, it means you PAID for a billboard. I can't see how they justified flushing that much money down the toilet on ONE kid and doing NOTHING for the rest. That seems so mean. Even the rapper kid knew that wasn't right; he said as much when he was carrying their gear.

    Hey, if Dash-2 wants to be a cowboy, send him down here. Greg's dad will show him everything he needs to know. But tell Dash-2 that he at least needs a belt with a big metal buckle to go with that underwear.

    I think with kids that young, its our job to encourage them to find the things they like but also to make sure that they have, say, a college fund to fall back on when that whole rap thing doesn't work out.

    Space camp, however, would be totally awesome. :)

  3. I think those parents are ridiculous - however I'm sure that's why they were on the show to begin with! If someone has a dream, then they should work hard for that dream and dedicate their time to making it happen. They shouldn't have money just shoveled to them.

  4. It's the same as those parents that lie to their kids on American Idol. I vow now to never be that parent. Ugh!!

    And I feel SOOO bad for the other kids!!

  5. Sorry, no cowboys over here! My child has such girly dreams, usually she wants to be a "ballerina teacher" or lately it's a swim teacher.

    I don't watch Wife Swap, but that does sound unreasonable... although I will admit that I have spent a good deal more on swim lessons than I thought I would because my kid loves it and she seems to have an aptitude for it. I have to watch myself because once she shows an interest I tend to really jump in (dance is another good example). I think it's part of having one child, though, she is the sole recipient of all the money and attention.

    That sounds awfully unfair to me that those children on Wife Swap have to work for their brother! How sad.

  6. um, I want to go to space camp.

    shoot! :-p

  7. I have to go look this family up on the internet...Why would you put your kidsface on the side of your car and hire a body guard. Heres an idea dont put our kids face everywhere

  8. haha is this them?

  9. My daughter asked me, "Mommy, how many years do I have to go go to college to be an ice-cream woman?"

    AND she could not be convinced that opening her OWN ice cream shop would be better, because, "then you don't get your own truck with cool music!"

    Oh man!

  10. my friends think I am kinda nuts. my son did karate for 2 years, soccer for 2 years, baseball for 2 years. I do make him stick to it long enough to know if he really likes it but I refuse to keep flushing money down the drain if he is A not good at it or B if he does not like it

  11. Just wanted to say I have been out of town and just got home and LOVE my bags that I got. The zippers on the side are perfect for my make-up and the prints are cuter IRL!! Thank you so much!

  12. Junior wants to be an astronaut or a dirty jobber (get your mind out of the gutter).

    Abs wants to own a mule train.

    Em wants to be a fashion designer.

    Those people are crazy. I'd love to go on wife swap. I'd like to exchange places with a wife that has kids that rub her feet, eat everything she cooks, and do their homework without asking.

  13. I go back and forth. I spent a good part of college asking my various extremely talented friends (the ones whose talents would have required pricey gear and training, like musical or athletic abilities) when they went through a phase that their parents wanted "it" more for them than they did themselves (wanted them to be a concert pianist or triathelete). And the unanimous answer was - never. Not at one point in their lives did their parents have to MAKE them practice the piano, have to FORCE them to get outside and run or swim. I've also known my fair share of "stage moms," and I have a feeling that the kids who are motivating their parents are the ones who will be successful in their dreams, not vice-versa.


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