Living Someone Else’s Dream


Angelica Capote, Staff Writer

With graduation around the corner, more and more seniors are being pressured by their parents to go to a certain collage, work in a certain field, pursue a certain career, are even more prominent then ever. Parents use manipulative emotional behavior to puppet their kids into doing what they want them to. This could be a parents forcing an offspring to continue or relive a life the parents was unable to finish so that the parents can live vicarisly though them (continuing the family business, going to the same collage the parents went to, beauty pageants) or having the child do something the parent were never able to do (joining the army, going to the best collage, best a perfect athlete).

Were all familiar with the 1985 hit movie The Breakfast Club and its famous scene with all the kids are on the floor swapping their stories of how they got into detention that day. The most memorable by far is Andrew Clark’s (Emilio Estevez) story of how his father pressures him be more like his dad. During this scene, Andrew says, “He’s like this mindless machine that I can’t even relate to anymore. ‘Andrew! You’ve got to be number one! I won’t tolerate any losers in this family! Your intensity is for sh*t! Win! Win! Win!’ “. He describes the pressure his father puts him to be the best of the best, using harsh words and force. Emilio’s character even goes on to say, “You know, sometimes I wish my knee would give. And I wouldn’t be able to wrestle anymore. And he could forget all about me.” Movies like this one are great examples of parents going to great extents to make their kids just like them when they were their age.

However, not only do scripted big screen movies portray these controlling parent egos, reality television does it just as great. Shows like Dance Moms and Toddlers and Tiares (don’t even get me started on the sexualization of young girls) also show real life situations depicting over baring parents parading around their tots like show animals at the circuses (the kids even look like clowns with all that make up).

With all these examples of controlling parents in the media, why do parents still act like this? Maybe it’s the way their parents raised them, so it all they know. Perhaps they just want the best for their kid and end up taking things too far, suffocating their child and turning them against their parents.

This strict way of parenting is so toxic because it puts children into small boxes, not letting them grow. They are put on a straight path of success in the parent’s eyes and are scorned when they want to leave the trail and stray off. Parents need to understand that they can only do so much for their little carbon copies. Give them a moral compass and let them choose right from wrong, let them make little mistakes, let them color all over their walls. Parents can’t force their little daughter to be a beauty queen at the age of three. They cant already be picking out their child’s dream collage, perfect dream career, and life partner, because these dreams and lives aren’t their child’s, they’re their owns. Mommy and Daddy are just going to have to except and love their child no matter how they turn out, even if they don’t go to collage and straight to work, or marry someone of the same gender, change their name and sex, move away from their parents to explore and find themselves, and anything else that makes them happy.

Parents, moms and dads, need to love and appreciate their kids. No matter what they want to do with their lives, support them, and be there when they fall. Be a friend, as well as a parent.