This edition’s story, “Wise Parenting Insights from Wendy Mogel,” is more than conjecture. I often witness parents doing damage to their children’s wills. As a longtime middle and high school educator, I often see capable studentsvirtually “giving up” the possibility of graduating from high school, due to their inability to reach the perfection expected by their parents or measuring up to standards set by older siblings.
The local culture places extreme pressure on students to enroll in AP classes and score at least 95 in each of them while excelling in some sport, so that the student will be awarded academic and/or athletic scholarships to a prestigious university—all for a career that pays a huge salary.
Thankfully some parents, possibly after the student has suffered a nervous breakdown and spent several days in a hospital, see the light and seek to relieve the pressure and allow the student to pursue his or her own interests, which may or may not include a university education.
I believe the object of a higher education is not money. It simply allows more opportunity to pursue a lifetime of emotional and spiritual rewards; and maybe financial rewards, as well. I’ve seen young people pushed into careers only to feel trapped for a lifetime in a detestable job.
Good parenting includes realizing that all their children may not want to follow in their parent’s footsteps or choose the career the parent wants them to pursue, and that two children with the same genetic ancestry may be totally different. Yes, the musician and the research scientist may actually be siblings.
Ed Pilkington, EdS, is superintendent of Willow Bend Academy, in Lewisville and Plano. For more information, call 972-599-7882 or visit WillowBendAcademy.com.