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Have you ever crushed a child's dream(s)?

 
 
Linkat
 
Reply Thu 7 May, 2015 05:48 am
So when does reality take over from a child's dreams? When do you let them know they are not smart enough to be a doctor...they will never be president...there is no santa claus?

I recently let my daughter know that Grandmom - the retired clown from the Big Apple Circus is a......gasp.....man! She was horrified you should have seen her face. Complete Shock. I thought at 12 she could handle it. I think I told her too early even though s/he has retired.

Seeing the shock I wondered if my 16 year old knew. So I figured what the h*ll I just ruined one child why not a second. So I asked do you know that grandmom is a man. She said no - she is? I said yes. But she wasn't fazed at all. I guess 16 would have been the right age to tell her. Did I ruin my 12 year old - will she be scarred for life?
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Type: Question • Score: 5 • Views: 1,064 • Replies: 26
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FBM
 
  2  
Reply Thu 7 May, 2015 06:16 am
@Linkat,
Huh. Well, at 12 a girl is probably going through puberty and a lot of confusion/anxiety about sexuality. I think I would've waited. But minds are surprisingly resilient things. I can't remember much of anything that happened to me when I was 12. Then again, I wasn't told that one of my grandparents was a tranny. Huh. Anyway, I kinda doubt you did any lasting harm. It may even open up her might to LGBT discrimination issues and make her more compassionate to people who are different in general.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 May, 2015 07:10 am
@Linkat,
What's the deal with this question? It showed up on my phone but not on my computer. It also doesn't sound like Linkat.

Am I missing something?
Thomas
 
  2  
Reply Thu 7 May, 2015 07:47 am
@Linkat,
Linkat wrote:
So when does reality take over from a child's dreams? When do you let them know they are not smart enough to be a doctor...they will never be president...there is no santa claus?

When they ask me. It happened a couple of times with the Santa Claus question. It also happened when they asked me where their grandma went after she had died. I told them outright that there's no reason to believe grandma went anywhere, that she's just gone. For that one, I got quite a few nasty looks from grownups. But the children I had this conversation with so far, all aged less than 10, all appreciated my candor. They weren't interested to hear the bullshit consolations that grownups so often feel obliged to tell them; they sincerely wanted to know.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 May, 2015 08:27 am
@boomerang,
It is me --- I was trying to be funny - she isn't really crushed and there is no anxiety about the cross dressing thing. She was just honestly shocked that the clown was not actually an old lady but a man - she said his acting is very good because it fooled her.

It isn't a cross dressing LGBT or anything like that - it is more - I really thought it was an old lady clown. I thought it funny - I sort of explained that it really couldn't be an old lady as the tricks and things s/he did was so physical - why the guy probably retired as it was physically taxing on his body.

There was a little humor in there and a real question too - when is it appropriate to let the kids now these sorts of things .... fantasy sort of things like Santa, Princesses at Disney, etc.

She actually brought it up to me about the clown - there was an ad on the radio about the Big Apple Circus that we have gone to many times in the past. She mentioned how she didn't like it as much without grandmom - so she was searching for grandmom on her phone and noticed they were referencing grandmom as "he"she asked is grandmom a boy? I said yeah. That is when the shocked looked. She isn't upset or anything I just found it funny and then decided to see if my older daughter had realized it - she didn't either, but she just gave the teen shrug like who cares.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 May, 2015 08:31 am
@FBM,
Quote:
that Grandmom - the retired clown from the Big Apple Circus is a......gasp.....man!


Grandmom is a clown that used to be the star of the Big Apple Circus, not her own grandmother. Yeah that would have been a real shock. You did give me a good laugh though.

http://blog.nj.com/somersetreporter_impact/2009/02/large_pix-0205Grandma.jpg
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 May, 2015 08:38 am
@Linkat,
I thought you were talking about her real Grandmom!

Now I'm going to have to reevaluate...
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 May, 2015 08:41 am
@boomerang,
I think everyone missed the part about ....the clown from the Big Apple Circus...

Man had I realized that I would have not put that in and had a really good laugh at what everyone would have suggested.
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 May, 2015 08:54 am
I understood you meant a clown in a circus, for what it's worth.

I don't think telling someone a man is putting on a female clowns costume is the same as letting them know they'll never be a doctor.

That is, if you were really serious.
boomerang
 
  2  
Reply Thu 7 May, 2015 08:56 am
@Linkat,
I thought maybe you had a relative in the circus!

The west coast suddenly seems far, far away from the Big Apple.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 May, 2015 09:14 am
@chai2,
Part serious, part not - meaning the clown part was the funny of course - and of course she wouldn't be scarred for life about a man dressed as an old lady clown.

Serious part though - is when you tell kids about reality - some things are easier ie the clown is a man vs. you don't have the brains to be a doctor - maybe you should go into being a hair dresser. Now I know that 12 would be too young especially as they are too young to know if they have the capacity to study to be a doctor - but say high school?

They have people of american idol that these young adults that think they are great singers --- their parents have always told them - and they suck really bad. My parents told me when I was young that if we have unwanted guests they would have me sing -- I was never led to believe I would be a singer.

Kinda see the serious side of the question?
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 May, 2015 09:47 am
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:

I thought maybe you had a relative in the circus!


that's what I thought at first - maybe linkat's mom/dad was a clown Question

then I checked the date to be sure it wasn't April 1st and some kind of a2k gag
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 May, 2015 10:07 am
Yes, I do.

As a parent, I know you want the best for your children. In addition, your child wants to please you.

You're walking this line of "how do I tell my kid they're not going to be a doctor" and the kid thinking "I want to be a doctor, and one of the big reasons it's because my parents expect that, or it would please them."

I'm sure I'll catch crap for this with the usual suspects of "How would you know, you're not a parent", but here goes.

My my observations, we're seeing the backlash with young adults (and no I don't mean all young adults) who were raised with "Good JOB Brittany!" Syndrome.

I think it does a disservice to anyone telling them they can do anything they want in life, if they (fill in the blank). Then, when they say they want to be, let's say a hairdresser, they're led to believe "you can do better than that." Can they? Or is that what the parents want to believe?

Besides, what's so great about being a doctor? Oh, yes, you save lives and ****. Well, depending on your specialty, you might, or you might make a mistake and end someone's life. You're also subject to long hours, politics politics politics, stress, law suits, becoming jaded, and oh yes, did I mention politics?

Is it really beyond a 12 year olds intellect to say "you can TRY to get into medicine IF your grades are good enough, IF you have a passion for it and nothing else will make you happy. But it's most important to try to do something that will give you satisfaction."

In your example of being a doctor. I'd rather the young person not feel the pressure of "I can be anything I want, as long as it's on the level of doctor, because that's what I'm supposed to want" so they aren't the one treating me and screw up. I'm funny like that.

BTW, What do you call a doctor that graduated last in their class?
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 May, 2015 10:28 am
@ehBeth,
Well we may be clowns but not the kind you use makeup to become one - and our family may seem like a circus but we are not actually gainfully employed as circus acts.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 May, 2015 10:35 am
@chai2,
You make some good points, my 6th grader actually says she wants to be a teacher, a vet or a hair dresser - she loves to do hair and she does a good job with it. My husband will say something along the lines about like what you said - you can do better than that. I said hey you are 12 you have plenty of time to decide - so no worries.

Then she started about talking of attending the vocational school rather than the high school as they come to the middle school to try to get more recruits. She wanted to take hair dressing or whatever the heck they have there - she did change her mind as soon as she found out their sports teams are not so good - I guess priorities at age 12.

So no need to worry at least at this point. She does get good grades and not that there is anything wrong with doing hair -just glad she isn't going to votech.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 May, 2015 10:37 am
@chai2,
What do you call a doctor that graduated last in their class?

Doctor - what else
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 May, 2015 10:40 am
@Linkat,
Whenever I think I should discourage Mo regarding ambitions I always think of my neighbor --

S's daughter was the daydreamer of the family. She barely made it through high school. She took a gap year. And another gap year.

S tells me she waited for the inevitable "I'm pregnant" or "I'm in jail" call but eventually her daughter decided to go to college with no real direction in mind.

Daughter is a surgeon now.

I know every story doesn't have that kind of happy ending but some of them do so I bite my tongue. Mo has lofty ambitions that probably aren't too realistic so I just talk about the amount of hard work it will take him to get there instead of saying it just ain't gonna happen.
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Thu 7 May, 2015 10:45 am
@Linkat,
At 40, my hairdresser owned three homes. Now, a few years on, she has a nice house to live in, a beautiful cottage, a house in the Caribbean, a couple of rental properties. She also bought a house for her mother and aunt to live in.

At 40, my doctor was less than halfway through paying off student loans.

Really.

Granted, my hairdresser is a real hustler - has a shop in her basement and does outcalls - makes way more money than when she worked strictly in a salon - but she'd already flipped several properties by the time we met her when she was just over 30. She's got a better lifestyle than most doctors I know.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 May, 2015 10:48 am
@boomerang,
well it I was listening to this radio show and they had a vet on where you could call in and get advice on your pet. Someone called in I think a young man about suggestions if you were interested in being a vet --- grades and such. He said he actually did not do well in school but more that he wasn't smart just school wasn't his thing.

He matured a bit took some college courses and once he got a little older realized he could put the effort in and get good grades and work toward being a vet.

I think of this when my daughter came home and her science grade dropped from an A to a B. You sometimes just have to not over worry about these things.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 May, 2015 10:49 am
@ehBeth,
yeah i know successful hairdresses and mention she could own her own business. But either way she is 12 - so her worries are more who she is going to have lunch with right now.

So Instead I can beat up on my high schooler instead -- although she is the one who is more sure of what she wants to do - and I am afraid she could be poor but happy.
 

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