Commentary: Dreams should be encouraged

Parents need to allow children to follow their passions

Gazette/ staff photo

Cori Caplinger is a senior editor for and for the Gazette student newspaper at Granite Bay High.

Trust me when I say this, I get it. 

I get your fear of the unknown. I understand you want what’s best for your child. I understand you want them to live happy and fulfilled lives.

Yet … how can your child be truly happy and successful when you won’t let them go?

I’d be lying if I said I do not fear for my future. I’m scared that I might fail. I’m scared that maybe, just maybe, I won’t be happy with what I do. But in life, we can’t fear the unknown just because we’d rather stick with what we know, or at least what we think we know.

From the start of my high school career, my parents have been supportive of most of the decisions I have made regarding my future, especially about college and possible career interests. At the same time, many of my friends have not experienced this luxury. They have been forced to conform to this constrained box that their parents have deemed appropriate for their child’s success and future.

I’ve seen that said box ruin some of my friend’s lives.

Now ruin might be a little extreme, but it has certainly affected them to such a great extent that I fear they no longer believe they can follow their own dreams. Which I believe to be one of the worst things that can happen to a young person.

Parents, it’s time to let your children go. It’s time for you to take a step back and reflect upon what you are asking them to do, what you are forcing them to do. You need to let your children dream, and they need to be able to follow their passions. 

Parents, it’s time to let your children go.

— Cori Caplinger

As a society, we have been told that following our dreams only leads to failure and a lack of success. A person can love art, but they shouldn’t pursue it. They won’t make any money, they won’t be happy … right?

Wrong. We don’t know what’s going to happen, and that’s OK. The beauty of the future lies within the fact that we can’t see what’s ahead. 

So what exactly does that mean for the parents who have continually held their children back from reaching their full potential? It means they have to let their children live their lives for themselves. 

Stop forcing your children to take all academic classes because you think it will give them a leg up for college. Stop forcing your children to sign up for clubs they don’t even enjoy. Stop forcing your children to conform to your standards. Let them create their own.

Your child is not you, they are their own person. Perhaps they look like you, or act like you, but they are special and unique. It’s time for you to allow that uniqueness to shine, let it grow.

Now, don’t just completely give up on parenting. Your children still need you in many ways. Just try to understand that your responsibility lies within the needs of your child, not your own desires. 

So, parents, I challenge you to let your children grow on their own for awhile. See how they make their own decisions about their future. Watch how they change in front of you, without you having to control them.

After all, as Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young say, “And feed them on your dreams, the one they pick, the one you’ll know by.