Letters of Youth


/ 8 August 2020

Will you give up or pursue your dreams even though your parents do not support you? Mr. Samuel Clemens, more commonly known by his pen name Mark Twain, author of the book ‘The Adventures of Tom Sawyer’ has been clear about this point. According to him, the two most important days in our lives are the day we are born and the day we find out why.

The human population continues to grow exponentially, but how many of the people living and have lived were able to figure out why they were put on this earth? You might be wondering what’s so important about ‘the day we find out why.’ Simple. There is a correlation between finding our purpose and dreams. Most people struggle when asked what their dream is. I’ve met adults who still don’t know their purpose.

What if you just realized your purpose and dream but you don’t get the support from your parents? The situation is a common problem for most students. Some parents, for one reason or another, are authoritarian in the way they deal with their children. Perhaps, they want the best for their children and they think their decision matters more than their children’s opinion.

What if you are in this position? You’ve found your dream but your parents aren’t being very supportive. How do you deal? Here are some things you can do to try and get their support.

1. Communicate your thoughts to your parents

The power of good communication is strong. Discuss with them your goals and how badly you want to achieve them. Muster up the courage to open up and observe what will happen next. Let them know your clear and sincere intentions. At the end of the day, they are still your parents and they will listen to you.

2. Use the if-then strategy

Learn to use the if-then strategy. This is when two parties negotiate over the table – you and your parents. In every negotiation, there’s a possibility of a win-lose or win-win situation. There is also an instance where both parties lose. Therefore, you need to prepare to negotiate properly. What can you offer that would be pleasing to them in exchange for getting what you want. Ready logical talking points. Don’t let your emotions get the best of you.

The if-then strategy looks like this: If I get good grades, you’ll allow me to get the program I am very passionate about; or if you let me pursue arts, then I will do my best and will make you very proud in return. So be careful if you use this strategy.

3. Don’t be scared to delay your dreams

If your parents have no plans to compromise then it’s time to change your priorities for a while. This situation is very common in traditional families. You go to an engineering school as decided by your parents, but eventually pursue your dream of becoming a great musician or theater actor. This may take a while but delayed plans are never canceled.

4. Hard work is key

Most Filipino families experience financial dilemmas. Even though there are public colleges and universities, the miscellaneous fees and necessary expenditures like daily allowance are still too expensive for an average person. This is the same reason why some students are forced to juggle their studies and work at the same time. Others skip school and look for a job to save money. No matter what the situation is, always choose not to give up. I do not romanticize poverty as a motivation for success because poverty is a hindrance to many but please don’t let it stop you from achieving your dreams. Hang in there. Explore alternative methods to achieving your dream. There are many paths to success and when you can’t seem to find one, then make it yourself.

Every situation has its elements. There’s no single and perfect formula to address this concern; however, you have the power to decide and try what works and what does not work. You will never know unless you try.