by Olan Tonsay
Taking Time to Choose
It is the right of every individual to choose the direction he/she wants to take in life. But it does not end with having a choice. One has to decide whether to take or not what he/she has chosen.
Most youngsters are quick into acting on or doing something that they really like, throwing caution out of the way. Others take time doing so especially in making decisions that pertain to their choices in life, their studies, and their career. Debo, a Grade 10 student from a coed school in Parañaque, has not made up his mind yet as to what he is going to take in senior high school.
Still in a Quandary
Debo will be a Grade 10 junior high school completer come April 2017. With just a few more weeks to go before his four-year stay in junior high school gets all wrapped up, he is still in a quandary as to what direction he is going to take in senior high.
His father is a corporate lawyer who is employed in a well-known multinational manufacturing company. He belongs to a family of successful lawyers. Debo vividly recalls the times when his father repeatedly expressed his dream of having one of his children take the same career as he did.
Debo’s mom is an accomplished pediatric neonatologist who is based in two tertiary hospitals in Metro Manila, aside from having a clinic right beside their residence. She belongs to a family of doctors and medical technologists. It is Debo’s mom who told him directly that she wants him to take up medicine in college. But Debo does not like to be either a lawyer or a doctor.
Since early childhood, Debo has shown interest in drawings. He always wanted pencils, watercolor, crayons, and oil pastels along with sheets of bond and oslo papers. He spends hours sketching, drawing, and coloring. He would spend an hour inside his room doing what he likes the most. Sometimes he would go to nearby places with poignant settings to spend some time drawing.
His Mom and Dad tried to wean him away from what they considered as mere leisure time activities. As he nears completion of his junior high, they called his attention to take the Academic Track of the senior high school and to choose the strand leading either to law or medicine. This means he has to choose between the Humanities and Social Sciences Strand and the Science, Technology and Mathematics Strand. He does not like either.
Just months away from completing Grade 10, Debo is mustering enough courage to tell his parents that he will take the Arts and Design Track. He is hoping and praying that his parents would let him.
Think It Over:
1. What is Debo worried about?
2. What kind of track do his parents want him to take in senior high? Why?
3. How did Debo arrive at the track that he wants to take in senior high?
4. Do you think Debo’s parents will let him take the track he wants? Explain.
5. Why do some youngsters find it difficult to make plans for their schooling or academic life?
In the Process of Making You Better
Parents always want what is best for their kids. We have heard this several times. There’s another saying that goes, “Mother knows best,” and many agree to this. For the most part of the youngster’s academic education, parents have been and will always be the deciding factor as they are the ones spending for it. From the simple pencil eraser to the larger tuition fee, it is always the parents who foot the bill.
Some parents have background careers of their families of which they have been known for several generations. This career has been passed on from one generation to the next, and every generation makes sure that one of the members of the family carries on this kind of tradition that is prominent not only in our country but in other countries as well.
There are families who belong to the political line. There are those who belong to the line of lawyers, doctors, engineers, and military. There are families that pass on not only professional careers but also non-professional ones like farming, fishing, baking, cooking, and a host of traditional and nontraditional occupations.
Traditional careers are respected in many families. Some children opt to continue this career, but there are those who are forced to do so out of pride. Parents of this sort tend to be domineering, and among the domineering parents are those whose decisions are nonnegotiable even when consideration is requested.
Domineering parents refer only to their point of view as to the preference or choice of course, school, and career. This is their perceived need for their children. However, it is a relief that most parents would be discussing the matter with their children. Others would consult their children about the matter and convince them or make them understand as to their preference for schooling.
Domineering parents are sometimes called controlling parents. Some parents overstep in controlling their children’s affairs. They usually exhibit authoritarian style of parenting. Some can be overbearing perfectionists. They always assume that they know what is best for their children and always have high expectations from them. Some can even be manipulative regarding what food to eat, what clothes to wear, and basically, what to and not to do.
To avoid such consequence in your school life if you have domineering parents, you can take on a few ways in relating with them:
• Try understanding your parents as to why they want you to take the particular track and strand they want you to take and don’t expect the other way around.
• Domineering as they can be, parents are just showing genuine concern for you though they are not aware of the effect they have on you.
• Find time to know your parents’ rough time during their childhood; you will discover a lot.
• Have patience talking with your parents about what you are good at, avoiding showing any sign of irritation or getting too impulsive.
• Voice your opinion respectfully without being too pushy.
• If things get heated up, politely excuse yourself to avoid aggravating the situation.
• Do not let self-pity to set in. It will only pull you down all the more.
For sure one or several of these would work just in time for the Grade 11 enrollment next school year. If not, then prayers and acceptance, understanding and patience are all there is left. God will be there and will always be there for you all the way. Never ever think that he is not.
No prayer is left unanswered, and in case what you pray for is not granted, expect that something better and bigger is awaiting you for in your young life. As a youngster, the best in life is yet to come. Keep on hoping and never cease praying. God is still in the process of making you better so that you will come out the best.
Reflect On These:
1. Cite the characteristics of a domineering parent.
2. What is the real concern of parents when it comes to their children’s future, especially their studies? Why?
3. Cite the possible reactions of youngsters toward domineering parents.
4. Will these reactions prove helpful when you and your parents have conflicting views or opinions? Explain.
5. As a Christian youngster, how should you deal with domineering parents?