While adolescence is a time of constant change and endless possibilities, when children get to their late-20s, it is expected that they will have a basic idea of what direction they want their life to go. Unfortunately, it does not always turn out that way. Sometimes, it could be the turn life takes in terms of hurdles they have to deal with, but sometimes it’s just the children themselves, they just seem to be lacking a sense of purpose or direction with their life.
Geeta had this problem with her son for the longest time, and continues to have the same issue, and she believes it is her fault.
She says, “My husband and I provided everything for both my kids — gave them a good education, and didn’t leave them wanting for anything. My daughter, the younger one, knows what she wants with her life, and always has. My son however, has been flitting from educational degree to educational degree, not finishing anything, because he knows we’ll pay.”
When children are aware that they can access the saved funds of their parents, funds that they believe they are “entitled” to, there is a danger of them being too relaxed about actually finishing what they start — saying “Mum and Dad will always catch me and support me.”
Geeta continues, “Not only is he not deciding on finishing a degree, he is trying his hand at a variety of businesses, but none with a serious focus. Yes, it’s good to be creative and express your abilities, but having his father as his investor makes him believe that failure is normal, and that he is invincible in the industry he chooses. If it’s a business that has potential to succeed, he doesn’t have a business plan, or a plan of action. If it’s a silly idea, he won’t take feedback. He thinks he is the be all, end all of everything that he chooses to do, but that his father’s savings is something he can forever dip into. I don’t know where I went wrong, I think his waywardness is my fault. I mean, is it possible to get to your 30s and still not know what you want to do with your life?”
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Her son is aspiring to live far beyond the means that he is capable of, because he knows that he will always have someone to bail him out. Geeta has realised the problem was that she and her husband may have gone above and beyond their duties as parents, and she decided that she was going to say “No” firmly and with love.
“He knows I love him unconditionally and forever,” she says. “But I can’t keep bailing him out. I’m on a limited income. My savings aren’t infinite and they’re for me right now.”
She mentioned this to him, and he got angry, but she believes it’ll help him come around and rethink his approach to life.
If your adult child has yet to develop a passion or definite direction, encourage him or her to find inspiration in any job he or she can find in this economy. We can learn a great deal from the jobs we hate as well as the jobs we love. All of these experiences can help us find the right career path.
Have you faced a similar situation? What would your advice be to Geeta? Share your stories in the comments below.