After his secondary school, he is ready to go to the university but the problem is, he wants admission into where some of his friends are but his father told him he will prefer him to go to a better university…he feel he has the right to choose for himself…BREAKING QUESTIONS OF THE DAY…Who should be in a better position to choose a college or university….the child or the parents and why???

This question makes me think of my father and my answer is based on my life experience with him. My father had his own ideas and we were constantly at battle because of them.

I wanted to take auto mechanics and learn about cars and he wouldn’t let me because he wanted me taking all advanced level courses so my grade average would be awesome and I’d get into a good school.

Boy, dad did your plans ever backfire!

You see, there was advanced level, general level and basic level in our school. Now it is called something else and there is an extra option. My father wouldn’t let me take any general level courses. Not even science, which I SUCKED at!! He AND the teacher both believed I could handle it and he wouldn’t settle for less.

He never told me I couldn’t do something because I was a girl. He always said, “You have a brain. Use it!” For that, I am grateful because it was empowering.

Unfortunately, my idea and his idea of life didn’t always match.

He was excited and proud at the prospect of me going to college or university and making something of myself but, I wasn’t HIM.

I wasn’t business minded. I was, am and will always be creative and artistic.

When I was a child he made the teacher give me extra math books and you know, that did pay off because later I always did VERY well in math and my grades were excellent….but, I HATED it! Unless of course it was formulas. For some reason that was interesting to me. However, my dad was sometimes guilty of trying to fit me into a mold he wanted. What I have learned, and I dare to say he learned also is that….it doesn’t work. Sooner or later a person STILL has to be who they are. Regardless of how their parents feel about it.

I had my first year tuition and room paid to go to college and I found an extra thousand dollars deposited in my account. A gift from him to help me with my first year of school. I didn’t go so I had to give it back but, I can’t even begin to explain the surprise and the feeling I felt about it.

I understood that he was proud of me. Even if I wasn’t going to school for anything he understood or would have chosen. (I applied to an art school and was accepted into an art program at a school that hires animators to work for Disney.)

I know that he was disappointed in my choice not to go and even more frustrating to choose having a baby with the bane of his existence…an idiot who controlled and abused his daughter. Soooooo sorry dad. 😦

For those choices and then ending up a divorced, single mother of two babies he never even hated me. He just forgave me, believed in me and trusted me to figure it out.

But, I also know that he struggled with his own issues in life.

All I can say now is that I learned a father’s love from MY father and he wasn’t a perfect one by any stretch. He was MINE though and I miss him every day.

It took us a long time but a couple of years before he died he told me some things that speak volumes to me. He understood and accepted that I am ME…I am NOT him.

I had written a letter to a friend once and he’d found it and read it. He apologized for reading it because it was my own personal, private business but I’m not sorry that he did because I believe it was a beginning of understanding for him. I don’t know how he didn’t know or couldn’t see or understand how emotional and deep I really am but the letter woke him up.

He said that he was amazed at how I write and express myself. (Having read things written by my children and knowing that the older ones already write better than I do I can TOTALLY relate to the awe inspired by it!) Not long after that we had another conversation and he expressed an understanding of me. It wasn’t about business and education and “right” paths. It was about knowing who you are and what you are and want and FOLLOWING that path with all your heart and soul.

He said…if you’re an artist and you want to draw…then DO that. If you’re a writer and want to write…DO that! DO whatever it is that makes you happy and YOURSELF…just do it to the best of your ability!! (Thank you dad!)

So my answer to this question is…parents have a duty and responsibility to share what they know and believe and yes, even to expect MORE of their children but in the end…it is the CHILD (read individual person) who should decide what is or is not the right choice for them.

Following someone else’s (parents) path only causes MORE confusion and discomfort because it very rarely is already the path of your own soul. YOU have to learn to listen to YOU.

This applies to EVERYTHING.

I admit…I would NOT be me without HIM. My mother loved to label me and she’d always say, “You are your father’s daughter. You’re just like him.” I KNOW I am! (I’m also quite like her 😉 even if she doesn’t want to see that part!) LOL I would like to believe that I am the best parts. Of both of them.

I would listen to his point of view and respect it and sometimes even believe it and follow through with it as the backbone of my life choices. However, because I am ME and I have to follow my own heart and path I would quite often choose something completely different or completely opposite. In the end I don’t think he really cared! He just wanted me to be happy.

I have NOT been the parent my father was to me and I have not pushed or annoyed or pestered my children to do or be anything but what they want…and believe me they change their minds a LOT!

YES, I would absolutely be proud of them for going to college and making a life and career if that’s what they want and YES, I know that an education is important and sometimes necessary to get ahead in this world but honestly, I don’t believe it is everything. Sometimes in fact, I think school education is useless. LIFE education matters more.

That’s just my own humble opinion but, I BELIEVE with my whole heart and soul that NOT graduating from high school, college or university doesn’t mean diddly squat to whether or not you have a brain or are capable of anything. YOU can do what you want to do. BELIEVE it and follow through.

If you need to be educated then get educated. If you are living and breathing then you have a choice. All you have to do is decide what you want and go get it! Whatever it is, whatever it takes.

I did NOT go to college and so what? I’m smart enough to hold my own in a conversation with people who did. Does it make them better than me? I don’t think so. Just different. Different rules, different choices, different priorities.

ALL of that is ok. We really aren’t in competition with each other. We just want to be a better person than we were yesterday. If being educated is part of that for YOU then go ahead…get educated. Just remember there are MANY, MANY ways to do that!

As for whether or not to go to school where your friends are and are you going to “play” more than work? ABSOLUTELY! College isn’t as much about education as it is about learning limits, consequences, independence and responsibility. All VERY important life lessons.

Let him go to school with his friends. Sometimes they make all the difference in the world!

In the end he’ll still be the one responsible for his own choices and the consequences of them.

Most of all things I am grateful for my father loving and accepting me as I am. He really was the wind beneath my wings. Even if I never ended up where either one of us thought I might go. I am STRONG (and that is his legacy) and I will fight to the end to be who I want to be. I can’t answer for him now but I know I’m proud of that!

Let him BE.

Hope it works out for the best. xo




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