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To think we arent being real with our children?

(188 Posts)
Just01 Sat 04-Jul-20 08:51:22

We are constantly teach them to believe they can be what they want,have what they want,live the life they want,all it takes is work and a positive attitude!its bullshit.life is full of failure and disappointment,dissatisfaction and probably 90%of people just struggle and get by each day.if we keep telling kids oh just try hard yoi can achieve anything we are setting them up to fail,sometimes they cant get what they want no matter how hard they try or what they do.we need to be more real with our kids and tell them it's ok,that they can try and get the lives they want but it may not happen and the emphasis in life should be about being good and happy.

OP’s posts: |
NoMoreReluctantCustodians Sat 04-Jul-20 08:54:24

I agree but I also thnk we can encourage them to make choices that give them more options in life

Dilatory Sat 04-Jul-20 08:55:52

life is full of failure and disappointment,dissatisfaction and probably 90%of people just struggle and get by each day

Has something happened to make you feel like this?

Brieminewine Sat 04-Jul-20 08:57:08

Well if that’s your attitude then of course you’ll never achieve much. If you work hard, you get good grades, you get a career, a good wage, a better standard of living. If people are happy to just coast along never really excel or commit to anything and get any low skilled job that’s fine, but you’ve got to work hard to get the better things in life.

Laserbird16 Sat 04-Jul-20 09:00:19

Seems a bit fatalistic. Perhaps make them listen to Everybody is free to wear sunscreen?

BogRollBOGOF Sat 04-Jul-20 09:01:46

DS knows about struggle. He's very bright with SpLDs and ASD. He needs to see that it is worth persevering and that hard work will give him more options in life.

At some point teenagers need a bit of realism. I knew a low-ability child who clearly could never be the vet that they aspired to be. For some a vetinary nurse might be more realistic although probably not in this case, but there are still other opportunities to work with animals. That dream has value in pointing off in a direction.

The hardest children to teach are those with no aspiration, especially if they've been put down and quashed. Lack of aspiration is one of the biggest barriers to sucess.

It's good for children to dream and see opportunities. They learn the reality of work, effort and grades with time anyway.

bathorshower Sat 04-Jul-20 09:04:22

I think there's a balance between 'you can be anything you want to be' and if you work hard you'll have more choices. I might have wanted to be an NBA basketball star, but I'm short and female, so that simply isn't possible, no matter how hard I train, and it would be kind to a child with that sort of impossible ambition to gently steer them elsewhere. But I do have more professional options having done well at school, and our lives are more comfortable because we're not in min wage jobs.

notheragain4 Sat 04-Jul-20 09:07:40

That's not my life experience and not very encouraging! I don't bleat on about anything being possible, but I do believe we control our own lives (to a degree at least) not happy with something, change it. I'm not the kind of person that sits back and takes life as it comes and complains, I'm realistic but proactive, and I will teach my kids the same.

ScrapThatThen Sat 04-Jul-20 09:08:51

Put some effort in, remember to enjoy the simple pleasures, make the best of any situation, be realistic about life's challenges.

isabellerossignol Sat 04-Jul-20 09:11:11

If you work hard, you get good grades, you get a career, a good wage, a better standard of living.

That's nowhere near true. Yes, you have a much better chance of achieving those things if you get good grades and work hard but they certainly don't follow automatically.

ThickFast Sat 04-Jul-20 09:11:41

I agree to some extent. Some things will be out of reach. I could never be a pilot for physical reasons. But I think parenting is about teaching your kids to aim high but also accept failure. So teaching them resilience. So even if they fail to try again. Or try something else. Rather than failure being some all consuming awful thing so you just give up and don’t bother again.

MysweetAudrina Sat 04-Jul-20 09:12:18

Can't say that's my experience if life. Definitely more ups than downs. Think perspective and gratitude help but I have also seen my efforts and hard work pay off. Not always but enough to keep on trying. You have to find a way to make it work and hopefully lead your children by example. Of course life doesn't necessarily align with your hopes and dreams so accepting your reality and working from there is all you can do. Without hope and dreams and faith in your life you can't really get started. Although in fairness it does help if your dreams are somewhat realistic, not much point dreaming about being a model or a singer if you can sing a note and look average. I think its about encouraging and nurturing those natural strengths in children and trying to focus them in that direction. For example my 11 year old ds gives the best foot rubs and shoulder massages so I talk to him about how he could go about being a sports physiotherapist or my other ds expressed and interest in one of the subjects I was studying so I showed him a step by step route to applying and sitting a course that could lead to work in this area and helped him with his exams. Little things done to progress day by day will get you there. The route may not be linear and you will likely suffer setbacks and derailing but there is an awful lot to be set for hard work, determination and support from others.

Howmanysleepsnow Sat 04-Jul-20 09:13:02

Well, I agree with you OP.
I have a decent job, nice house, lovely family, but feel a failure.
Age 18 I went to uni to do the course I wanted to do, which is the only route into the job I’d wanted for years. I was intelligent and hardworking. I was raped on campus and became depressed. I couldn’t finish the course. I didn’t have the option to try again (ever, as it’s hugely over subscribed) and felt like a failure ever since.
I went back to uni (different course), started a career, climbed the ladder... had kids and found myself managed out by a manager knowingly insisting I work hours that would leave me with no childcare for infant school aged children. Either DH or I had to change our job. I earnt less and did more childcare so... that was it, I had to leave.
I got a lower status job in my field with no chance of progression, but that was family friendly.
I love my job and my family but am keenly aware I won’t fulfill this huge potential I’ve been told I have from childhood.
You can’t have it all. You can have something, but often only at the expense of everything else. You make your choices in life. I chose to prioritise my mental health and my children. It’s a decision I’d make again, but still, the idea of being able to do whatever I want was instilled from childhood and, with that in the background, I feel, and always will feel, a complete failure.

Royalbloo Sat 04-Jul-20 09:13:28

Resilience and the ability to handle (and thrive) under imperfect situations is key - it's not that bad things won't happen, it's how you react when they do.

Elsa8 Sat 04-Jul-20 09:14:58

There’s a balance though. The teenagers I work with mostly have sensible or achievable with hard work aspirations. If they decide on their own that they’ll never get the grades for something, along with trying to encourage them I try to find something in a similar field to aspire to that might be more achievable. The students who are adamant they’ll be the next big Instagram influencer or have no aspirations at all are hard to motivate in different ways. I think it’s more damaging to put down than it is to motivate, and there’s ways to give them realism without it being negative - in the past I’ve had my tutor group looking at houses and mortgages, then talking about what sorts of salary they’d need to afford them, talking about credit card repayments and working out how much of a bad decision they can be in terms of money repaid. I do agree that the emphasis should be on being happy though!

heartsonacake Sat 04-Jul-20 09:15:46

YABU. If you have an attitude like that of course you’ll never succeed.

Our children can be anything they want to be if they set their minds to it and actually put in the effort and work to get there.

The reason most people seem to think otherwise is because they can’t be bothered to put the work in and so blame X, Y and Z as the reasons for not being able to.

NataliaOsipova Sat 04-Jul-20 09:15:47

I agree with you. And I say that as someone who fully supports being encouraging to children - education “buys” you so many more options and choices in life and it often takes a bit of hard work and dedication to get there.

But....the constant gushing “he’s sooo talented”, “he’ll never give up until he achieves his dream of being a pop star” types are deluded....and potentially dangerous. Because while it’s great to be on the school football team, you’re giving false hope to an 11 year old to claim that he can play for England if he tries hard enough. Because the way the world works now, if he actually were that talented, the overwhelming odds are that he’d have been spotted by now. And encouraging him to pursue football over, say, getting a decent set of A levels, probably isn’t doing hi, any favours in the long term.

So - encouragement? Absolutely. We should all aim high and for constant self improvement. But we need a healthy dose of realism and critical thinking in there as well....

Duvetdoggy Sat 04-Jul-20 09:16:10

It's fine to to aspire to being ordinary and content.

That seems to be missed out a lot, a focus on everyday contentment, on getting joy from life.

I have seen people who were treated to be so special, completely fail at tasks like getting a job as their own sense if specialness prevents this.

Fairyliz Sat 04-Jul-20 09:16:29

I agree op. My DC’s in their 20s were the first lot of children taught you can be whatever you want to be. What a load of bollocks, for every person with a fascinating well paid job there are probably another 1000 in minimum wage jobs.
My children and their friends are all disappointed that life has not turned out to be this wonderful adventure they were promised if they worked hard.

wagtailred Sat 04-Jul-20 09:17:15

Its a balance. Whilst some people work hard, get good grades and get a career and thats a good aim - you need to know that its not a guarantee. Many others hit huge obstacles through no fault of their own.
For instance having a child with SEN that meant he hasnt has full time school in 3 years including a year with no school at all, and there being no wrap around care, no child minders, no nannies etc means all my hard work and good grades count for nothing and i have to be proud that i can fit in low paid low hours work at all. I dont think my son will even sit GCSEs as his school only offers maths and english.

duckme Sat 04-Jul-20 09:18:25

OP, I sort of get what you mean. Obviously you should encourage your children to work hard and that, in doing so, they will reap the rewards.
However, my eldest children are teenagers and have noticed more and more that working hard, keeping your head down and always out of trouble-basically flying under the radar- means you go unnoticed.
Whereas, if you spend the majority of your time messing around and barely working/behaving, you're noticed. If you're one of the latter and you, commendably, turn your self around, you're rewarded far more than those in the former group. It's not fair.
It seems more and more so that if you're reliable and trustworthy and hardworking, that becomes expected of you, if you're a flake any improvement in this is massively rewarded.
But I realise that's a miserable and bitter way to live, it's hard to keep reinforcing the idea of try hard, be justly rewarded. But I would much rather my children consistently try their hardest, than not.

pigcon1 Sat 04-Jul-20 09:18:41

@royalbloo - this

Keep on going, with reflection and hard work. It certainly does not work out for everyone but it works to maximise opportunity.

TeenPlusTwenties Sat 04-Jul-20 09:20:06

We have always said that if you try hard at school you'll end up with more choices in life.
But also, it's not the end of the world if you don't get things first time around, there are always other routes, even if they might be more winding.

Why would you teach them to believe they can be what they want,have what they want,live the life they want,all it takes is work and a positive attitude ? That's just daft.

vanillandhoney Sat 04-Jul-20 09:20:36

I do agree to an extent.

You can get the grades, graduate and be stuck in a minimum wage job. Even if you get a high paying career, you still might not earn enough to buy a home or afford a nice car or holidays.

Hard work is not the be all and end all in life. Sometimes it pays off, but a lot of the time, it doesn't. Working hard does play a big part in life but it doesn't guarantee you anything at the end of the day.

Also, life is too short to spend it all slogging away at work in the pursuit of "being happy" or "having it all".

duckme Sat 04-Jul-20 09:20:43

Laserbird16 - that's a brilliant idea. That song really resonated with me as a teenager.

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