I catch myself moderating my children's dreams and then wondering if am doing them a disservice. I mean there are dreams and then there are wild fantasies. So my daughter wants to buy a Gucci bag with her first salary and she also wants a car for her Sweet Sixteen birthday. Yup! She has been watching the rich girl TV shows. So I dissuade her from both dreams the latter because I know there is no way I would buy a real, fuel powered motor car for a sixteen year old teenager even if I could afford it. Since I will still be paying her bills when she turns sixteen, that particular dream is in the category of wild fantasy. But what right do I have to dissuade her from using her first salary to buy a designer bag? Am I not tempering her dreams with my own reality - just because I could never have afforded any bag let alone Gucci, with my first salary? Am not only assuming that her first salary will be as meager as mine, I am also questioning her judgement and attempting to manage her priorities, after she becomes an adult. Do I have a right as a parent to determine her future priorities? This reminds me of my visits to my parents' house when my mother tells me to wear 'proper clothes' to Church and father tells me how to prioritize my spending. Sometimes I call it advice other times I feel so patronized and feel like saying, 'Mind your own business!
At 50 I know that parents moderate their children's dreams out of love and a need to 'protect' them from future disappointment. The trick is to find a balance between keeping it real and clipping their wings before they can even fly.