Obvious police right? Except.. in many families it is not.
My friend is the perfect example of this. Her parents owned a business that made pretty decent money, but was located in a smaller city (not urban at all), and in an industry that is pretty boring (medical supplies).
Since she was a kid, she had been dreaming of becoming a veterinarian or a marine biologist because she really loved working with animals.
Her parents basically vetoed the entire proposition and told her:
We are paying for your education (tuition, room, board, books), and you will do what we want you to do.
So with some resentment, she followed in the path her parents laid out for her, and went into the medical supplies industry.
At first glance, it’s kind of a dream.
You get to take over an already established business, you have the expert help of your parents and everything is taken care of without any worries. You are basically “set for life”, in terms of income.
The only thing is….. she will always have this feeling of never having had a choice in the matter.
The good news is that she doesn’t exactly hate her job, but she doesn’t really enjoy it either.
In reality, how can you really enjoy something when you didn’t even have a choice in the matter?
To make matters worse, her two older sisters were allowed to pick (by birth order default) their own professions early on, which left her holding the bag of taking over the family business.
She’s still kind of resentful about this, seeing as they chose to become a doctor and a dentist, and her parents are using the money they saved in the business to pay for their two older kids, but not for her, because as they told her “you are already set for life.”
It gave me a lot of pause for thought, seeing as I already plan on NOT paying for my kid’s college educations. I guess I avoid the problem of dictating to them what they have to do with their lives, and they are free to choose and live with the choice they have made.
I feel as though that’s the right decision to make, because I certainly don’t want to be resentful of my kids’ life decisions seeing as I paid for it.
I am personally glad in a way that my parents never paid for my education, at least, in the sense that they forced me into a career I did not want to do just because of money.
I chose to go to business school, and I got to choose my profession, which makes all the difference to me.