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A Daily Parenting Advice Podcast. Non-Pretentious. In less than 3min a day!

S5-Ep273 - Don’t tell them they can be anything they want

September 26, 2019


 According a survey of 400 teenagers, conducted by market research agency C+R Research, young Americans … aspire to be musicians, athletes, or video game designers, even though these kinds of jobs only comprise 1 percent of American occupations. In reality, jobs in health care or in construction trades may be golden in future decades.

Now, 400 teenagers isn’t really a big study, so the first lesson here is to take these things with a grain of salt, but I have heard of other studies which point to “millennials” very much wanting to be Instagram famous versus anything else. There is a troublesome ethos in there of wanting to be famous for nothing. (cough – Kardashians). You may not want to believe it, but previous generations grew up protesting unjust wars or civil rights abuses. This generation grew up watching the Kardashians make sex tapes. Now I’m a big believer in this generation of millennials who focus on teamwork, have a for the greater good ethic, and know that we’re totally slaughtering the environment. I’m bullish on our future, but we’re not raising millennials. We’re raising the next generation and our kids will be the ones who define our legacy.

 From that’s study: 15 percent of Americans currently have office or administrative jobs, which is the largest of 22 segments of the U.S. labor force. Yet 0 percent of the surveyed teens want to do this kind of work when they grow up.

    Aspirations are good, probably best for the teen years, but you are a parent. And parents are supposed to be buzzkills. Why not drop hints that they could ALSO do well in well-paying professions in which there will be a huge shortage of workers? And there are ways outside of your profession to make yourself happier too.

As Kurt Vonnegut said, “there are lots of things worth doing that are no way to make a living. They are agreeable ways to make a more agreeable life.”