Embracing Unconventional Norms – Why We Should Encourage Our Youth’s Passion and Dreams

What did you dream of becoming when you were growing up? An astronaut or an architect? A baker or a candlestick maker?

You must’ve had so many dreams. But then, you grew up. And reality smacked you in the face!

Suddenly, you realized that you really couldn’t be a nuclear physicist while working as a superhero. You didn’t have enough money to get that doctorate, and student loans always scared you.

So you did something constructive with your time and education. After all, you weren’t going to waste yours or your parent’s hard-earned money following a pipe dream.

Now, so many years down the line, it’s your teenager who dreams of being a professional stunt car driver or an artist one day, and you feel scared. Should you burst their bubble now and instead, direct them on a more practical life path?

Or quite frankly, should you do what your parents and society should’ve done; supported your hopes and dreams!

The Side Effects of Going against Your Dreams

98 percent of people do not fulfill their dreams. This means that out of the total global population, 6.86 billion people go through life without knowing the complete happiness that one would feel if they followed their life’s path, their passion.

Their reason for going off their desired path might be lack of support, money or stress or a combination of numerous other factors. But the main factor is that people were disheartened by the utter lack of encouragement. And that cannot be part of the legacy we leave for our future generations.

44 percent of young college graduates are already headed down the wrong career paths. This decision will not only be a disadvantage for them in the future in terms of their career, it’ll also lead them down a dark path, one that’ll affect their mental health.

In fact, there are already reports that many people who stated that they chose the wrong career path suffered from anxiety and stress, depression and social withdrawal, tiredness, mood swings and anger problems. All because they were on a road they did not like, but were stuck on until retirement. That’s around 40 years of work that you don’t want to do.

How to Be Constructive When Supporting Your Youth’s Dream

Let’s get one thing out of the way, we’re not asking you to support whatever your teenager dreams of becoming.

As a young person, they still have a lot of time before they choose a concrete option for their future.

As the parent, it’s your job to help them sift through their interests and find what they’re good at, and nurture those abilities so they can support themselves if they face any challenges. If they like finances or are good with money, sign them up for finance workshops.

If they dream of having their own small business one day (an ice cream store, a coffee shop, a beauty salon, a party supply store, even!), teach them about the basics of budgeting so they know that you’re taking their dreams seriously.

Even if they dream of becoming the president one day, add some finesse to their leadership skills by signing them up for urban youth leadership development programs. Work with organizations such as Youth with a Future so they can learn about working with other people and being better leaders.

This is how you support their hopes and dreams. By showing them that you are there to guide them up the ladder, instead of forcing them to meander on the ground!

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