Living Up to Parents´ Expectations

Since I was little, my dad told me I had to work hard to get somewhere. His own example was:

– When I was young, – he said, – it was a late spring and I wanted to go outside play soccer so badly when everyone else was out there. But no, I had to study for the exams. And you know what? I passed all of those, and the boys who played outside and didn’t study – didn’t.

I always had respect for my dad for his trait of being a hard-working and determined person. But his expectations for me didn’t match up with my expectations of walking the path towards my dreams, even though my dreams have changed and shifted over the years. I know our parents want the best for us, and I know my dad worries about me. His expectations of me living my live in a way that he would be proud of puts a weight on my heart though.

Photo by Negative Space on

My dad has been helpful throughout the years and was happy when I had office jobs that were pretty interesting and let me make living, but he sure is worried about me when I don´t make money and do not build a career going to being a manager and maybe then a senior manager and so forth, and man, it doesn’t look pretty if you look at it from this perspective: no steady income, no office job to climb higher on the administrative career ladder. On the other side what happens is that I won’t tell my dad that my dreams look differently than what he’d want for me to maintain a good relationship.

Isn’t it a same old same old story of fathers and daughters (and sons, of course, not to leave the boys out)? Our parents want us to succeed, and we are forced to live in the shadow of unspoken expectations they have for us. Some lucky ones have the ambitions that match their folks’ likes, some must fight for staying true to their dreams, day in and out.

I assume it’s tough, being a parent, seeing their kids not doing as well as you hoped they would. As my father’s kid I’d say: “I’m trying to make the best out of my life the way I can.” Just like anybody else.

Aren’t we all little kids inside who rebel and want to do things their way? Is it immature?

I have recently read about a very successful businessman and his wife who had a talk with the kids and told they didn’t expect them to work in family business. The kids couldn’t believe it. Moreover, the parents lend the kids money for the time of studies to use it for the fees or living on their own or whatever, with a condition that the money will have to be returned overtime, interest free.

Photo by Bayu jefri on

It must be tough to let your kids to do what they want. You’ll always worry about them. But perhaps when we don’t have to live up to the high expectations of our parents, we feel closer to them, there is more space to be trusting and to be ourselves, because we know we are loved for who we are. Asking the question “What would love do?” certainly might help. Will we hide our true dreams from those who love us so much or will we take a risk and live the best way we can one day at a time and with love and respect to those closest people we have being courageous enough to show them who we ar


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