For as long as I can remember it was my son’s dream to become an attorney and when he was younger he used to tell me that he was going to go to Harvard and then become one of the best attorneys in Chicago. Around 2 years before college admission time however he announced to myself and my wife that he had changed his mind about being a lawyer and instead wanted to become an actor. Naturally we were both shocked by this decision and both my wife and I fell on different sides of the fence. Hank had already made his mind up and after reading the glowing AMDA reviews he decided that he wanted to study at their New York campus. I begrudgingly supported Hank, my wife on the other hand didn’t, and there is no right answer when your child switches up like this. Which do you think is better, support or dissuade.
I was never in favor of Hank’s choice but I certainly wasn’t about to tell him what he could and couldn’t do with his own future. This was a decision which really came from left field and it did leave me in a state of shock for a few days as I wrapped my head around what he had told us. Eventually I held the opinion that we had raised a very smart boy who was excellent in all of his academic life. I trusted that he believed that he had made the right choice and so I supported his decision. I also believed that if I didn’t, he would only hate me for doing so, something which I didn’t want to put him through.
My wife wasn’t having any of this new decision and she set about trying to dissuade him from making what she believed would be a mistake. I think what she was worried about was that he had made this decision on a whim and she didn’t want him to look back and regret his choice. In her efforts my wife would talk to him about how hard it is to be an actor and how so many of them end up in dead end jobs, never realizing the dream which they carried with them when they first started studying performing arts. My wife tried all manner of things to dissuade Hank from making this decision and to be honest I couldn’t really fault her because I know that she had his best interests at heart. Such is the way with Hank however that the more she tried to dissuade him, the more resolute he was in sticking with his decision.
This is a tough choice for any parent to make and you must strike a balance between allowing your child the freedom to make a choice, and potentially a mistake, and ensuring that they don’t completely write off their career because of whim, not an easy balance I can tell you.