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alittlelost March 16th, 2013 06:32 AM

Big Dreams
If your child was very talented at something, but making their dream come true meant moving across the country, would you do it?

(an example might be if they have offers to be in movies, but needed to move to LA; or could go to the Olympics as an Olympic swimmer, but had to move to Colorado to train; etc)

crunchywannabe March 16th, 2013 08:21 AM

Re: Big Dreams
I don't think so. I'd encourage my child to take their talent as far as they can locally, and then follow their dreams when they are an adult (understanding that sometimes this means they won't make it as far in the long run)

We are settled in our community, and this is where DH's career is. Moving would not be 'best for the family unit' and therefore would likely not happen.

alittlelost March 16th, 2013 08:35 AM

Re: Big Dreams
I'll probably be in the minority, but we'd support our kids as far as they could take it, wherever we had to go. I know some dreams can't come true if you don't act when the opportunity is there or participate by a certain age, and if my kid could have a dream that big come true, I would be willing to make sacrifices to help it happen. I do, however, struggle with how that would balance out when you have other people in the family with needs, too. We'd have to find a solution. We're great at creative brainstorming around here, though, so I think we could make it work, even if it wouldn't be the easiest path to take.

shen7 March 16th, 2013 08:53 AM

If it was to be in movies???? Hell to the no. I'm sorry but that whole industry is about chewing up and spitting out naive dreamers. I have relatives with ties to show biz in that area and I would definitely actively prevent my child from becoming a child actor. They can do plenty as an adult.

For athletic endeavors, I would be shocked if that ever came up, because we are not a family that focuses on athletics and in my experience most of the highly competitive sports need to be started very young, which we simply wouldn't be doing. For one thing, there's no real venues for it around here. We are not an area known for good sports opportunities :lol: except maybe surfing. And ultimate frisbee?? Haha.

Now one thing that is a bit more plausible, since I had showed a lot of promise as a child myself, is academic advancement. My parents decided against allowing me to skip multiple grades and work at my intellectual grade level, I didn't even find out how high my test scores were until I was older. I was chronically bored and frustrated. But I think in these days, with all the home school opportunities and online courseware like Khan Academy, I would just home school my kid and let them go as far as they could. They could even take classes at the local university and still live at home. It would affect their social life, yes, but I would choose that for myself if I could do it again. Many subjects like higher math and theoretical physics have the biggest breakthroughs made by very young prodigies who go to Princeton at age 15 or something, and their best creative achievements are generally over well before age 30. I would probably let my kid go away to college early too, as long as there was some arrangement set up for their emotional support and I thought they had the life skills. I doubt I would uproot the whole family for it though.

breathing for two March 16th, 2013 09:01 AM

Re: Big Dreams
If I could I would, but I wouldn't be willing to hurt my other children in the process. If we couldn't, I do everything I can to advance and teach them locally until they're old enough to pursue things on their own.

alittlelost March 16th, 2013 09:03 AM

Re: Big Dreams
I had a similar situation with academic advancement, too, which my parents ended up supporting later (high school) but didn't in elementary school (which probably would have been better for me) so I hear you there.

I grew up moving around a lot, and DH and I like moving. So far, so do our kids, not that we move a lot now that we have them. We do want our next move to be our last (unless something comes up) but we like moving, travelling, road trips, that sort of thing, which must play into our willingness to move for sure events.

We're also all independently employed and work from home, which makes moving no big deal for us. I can do my job anywhere, and DH can telecommute and travel every month or so for a weekend if necessary.

My only concern is that if it's at an older age, the kids may have made friends. But then I have to weight that--one kid sacrificing a time sensitive life dream versus the other kids making new friends. I wouldn't want any resentment to come up from either side.

One thing I couldn't do is send my kid away. I have heard of people letting their kid live with relative or "host families" so they can pursue their dreams, but I guess that's where I draw my line. If we did something like this, we'd do it as a family. Family sticks together and support one another. sometimes that means sacrifice. Some family's choose to sacrifice a dream, some choose to sacrifice a job or a home or the support system they are used to. If it comes to it, I would try to look at what can be rebuilt and what can't and base my decision on that.

shen7 March 16th, 2013 09:36 AM

I went to boarding school when I was 15 and it was a great experience. By that age, I totally feel kids are old enough to handle a lot of separation from the family unit. Heck even just a few hundred years ago they'd be starting their own families by then, possibly. It depends a lot on the kid but by that age, I was old enough to actively pursue boarding school for myself and convince my parents to let me go, I arranged my own financial aid and everything, it was the first time I had *ever* been challenged in school, and I made great friends. I shudder to think at how my life would have turned out if I hadn't gone. I was near a breaking point with my frustration level and hating school so much. I wouldn't send away an 8 year old, but a mature 14-15 year old or older, absolutely, if that is what they wanted.

DH's grandmother and great uncle were the academic achievers of their poor farming family. The other five or so siblings had to work the farm and help them make enough money to send those two off to college. I thought that was really interesting but also pretty unfair. Later in life the farm siblings had minimal contact with the other two, although the (now more financially successful) college siblings continued to repay them with financial assistance throughout life. It didn't exactly help their emotional bonding. Not like that's the same as moving, but I do think sacrificing some children's comfort/freedom/preferences to help another one achieve more, is to be avoided, it is a recipe for resentment. It sort of sends a message that one child is more important than the others. In my humble opinion.

alittlelost March 16th, 2013 09:53 AM

Re: Big Dreams

Originally Posted by shen7 (Post 27201452)
but I do think sacrificing some children's comfort/freedom/preferences to help another one achieve more, is to be avoided, it is a recipe for resentment. It sort of sends a message that one child is more important than the others. In my humble opinion.

I agree. Except, then how do you choose? If one kids preference is to stay around friends and another child's preference is to go to the Olympics, you risk one kid resenting the other no matter what you do. That's why I think if it came down to that, we'd have to really try to find a way to make it work for the whole family, but I imagine in a situation like that, for it to be fair to everyone, then EVERYONE would have to make some sacrifices. I'm not in contact with any friends I grew up with. I can't imagine if my parents hadn't moved so I could keep my friends, meanwhile kept my sister from achieving her goals in softball, for example. In the end, meeting her goals have paid off. My "goal" of staying near friends would not have (even if I had stayed put, many of THEM ended up moving anyway!). I couldn't resent her for that (as an adult) but when you're a kid, it's different. Just like it would be hard for her to not achieve her goals just so I wouldn't have to make new friends.

Sometimes there is no perfect solution, though, so you have to look at what is best for everyone overall and everyone has to work together to make the decision benefit everyone involved. If we ended up moving across the country for one child, I would make sure we made it worth it for the other kids, too. And if we ended up staying put for one or more children, I would make sure we made it worth it for the kids who wanted to move for new opportunities. either way, though, I don't think everyone will get their first place choice in a situation like that. Where possible, I hope to be the one to make the most sacrifices in a situation like that. I want all my kids to know I support them fully and that when you love someone as I love them, you're willing to make sacrifices or do things that are "harder". I think it sets a good example for them, so long as it doesn't turn into the world revolving around them (which is something else entirely).

I'd say we're really lucky though (at least so far) because I'm pretty sure our KIDS would be the first one to say "yeah, lets move from my brother/sister can do XYZ!" They get very excited about each other's accomplishments and brag about each other all the time. It was actually my oldest who made me think of all this. He told me his sister should go to the Olympics one day. I told him that is very rare, and to do that you have to go to a special training center. He said we should go to that training center then. BUT he doesn't yet have anything that "ties" him to our current location, so it's different.

I really like having roots, but I'm not sure I'd ever want to feel tied down anywhere anyway. Things come up sometimes, and I'd hate to feel like I'd be "losing everything" to move. I don't want my kids to feel that way, either. I think it's good to love where you are but to also have excitement and positive thinking/hope about what it'd be like to be somewhere else.

shen7 March 16th, 2013 02:17 PM

I think your family (lost) would have an easier time moving than most! So I could see if the other kids were totally into it and it didn't impact your careers at all, it could work for you guys. I think most families do have roots to their area though, or at least jobs they can't move away from. I want to stay where we are forever. We have my parents right here, beautiful weather, peaceful community, the ocean and scenic beauty, and my husband's really, really good job (which does entail significant face time at the office now that he has moved up into a management role). I can't imagine dropping all that just to give a kid a shot at hitting the big time in a certain sport. That is our family though.

I think because of my family history I have a much dimmer view of fame and glory in general, too, though. My grandfather was a best selling author, had a runaway hit at a young age, became very famous in his early 20s. It was a burden in many ways. He and my grandmother divorced when my mom was 3 because of his drinking and indiscretions. He later had a respectable career as a magazine writer and screenwriter (this is my family Hollywood connection) and remarried and I have all this family in SoCal from that. But they were so flamboyant whenever they had any cash, and then struggled to get by until his next break or whatever, and he was a difficult person to live with by all accounts. I think fame and "success" did him no favors. And the whole world of fame and being the next big thing (or not) - it is very superficial and does not bring lasting happiness, in my view.

I contrast my other grandfather. He grew up dirt poor and worked for his family from age 9. He moved out to California and built a very very frugal life for his family, working as a legal assistant/clerk/shorthand note taker guy, which paid little but had a great pension. He worked that job until retirement, taking orders and dealing with some pretty jerky lawyers the whole time. But he had a huge beautiful garden, made sculpture and pottery in a home made studio and kiln, retired at 62 exactly and lived in great health up to his mid 90s, doing everything he loved to do. Hiking, gardening, art, travel, supporting his pet political causes (especially environmental protection). I really look up to him as an example of how to live. He was an extremely just and moral and simple man, he always knew the right thing to do and always did it, just had a strong compass. He never was anything you would call famous or successful from the standpoint of sports, career or whatever. It wasn't like he tried to submit his art to galleries, he had little pottery sales and sold reasonably priced kitchenware to his friends and neighbors. But I would rather be like him. We still use his plates. I would rather my kids try to emulate him than to try to be famous or live large like some of my SoCal cousins seem to want to do. My other grandfather made some great things and people still love many of his TV episodes and so on, they are classics, but on a deep level I think he had a harder life. Knowing when to be happy with what you have is a difficult lesson. In our culture we value striving and "achievement" but I think sometimes we forget what we really want to get out of it in the end.

Sorry to go on a long philosophical rant :) M is taking a nice long nap this afternoon! :lol:

alittlelost March 16th, 2013 03:46 PM

Re: Big Dreams
I agree we are able to move where most aren't. finding new jobs isn't always a possibility for those who have their careers. And some want to stay where they are (if I felt that way, I'd still be okay to move temporarily and then move back, but that's because what my daughter wants to do is time sensitive. It'll still probably never come up though lol). I also don't look at it as "hitting the big time" in a sport as much as having a really big dream come true--one that could also ensure their financial stability for life. I wish the same could still be said for education these days, and maybe one day it can, so we of course care a great deal about education too. You at least have a better shot with one than without. I went to school for psychology, though, and here I am a writer LOL

Also, you can have success at something without becoming an alcoholic, and you can be an alcoholic without having success. you can be foolish with money whether you get a cash break at some point or not. And you can appreciate your family whether or not your have financial security or not. I personally see those things as separate. I can see how having that experience though would taint your view. Financial security obviously does play a role in happiness for a lot of people--that is why so many of them WOULDN'T leave behind their jobs to move for something their kids want to do. As someone who achieved one of my goals, I can tell you my happiness in doing so does NOT come from "fame" (I would say I have none, just a small "fan" base and I end up becoming friends with them so I don't think that counts) or "fortune" (we're still middle to upper-middle class, just like we are before. Me selling books has only made us pay more in taxes, and current we make very little more per year. It puts us in an awkward bracket where we actually pay like $8000 more a year to cover the measly $10,00 I made the first year). BUT we're happy. I'm happy because I have my family and health and ALSO because a big dream of mine came true. I'd love my kids to have that, if I can give it to them, because it gave me something inside that is hard to describe, that I was never able to get anywhere else.

Your other grandfather sounds like he was able to pursue something special to him, too. Gardening. Having a dream come true isn't always about fame or fortune. For many, it's simply about their dream coming true.

I agree that knowing what to be happy is important. I think there is a difference between striving for achievement and making the most out of your life though--dying without regrets. I think there's something to be said for having passion and for fighting for what you believe in. I think there's something to be said for loving your family, but having other interests, too, and for being willing to sacrifice for those you love and for it to not really feel like a sacrifice because you love them so much and are just so happy for them that you forget it wasn't easy. I LOVE easy, don't get me wrong, it's why I do a lot of things the way they do. But I guess for me, it'd be easy to try something harder if it meant one of my kids' dreams could come true. As for how they might react to possible "fame" or "fortune" -- I would hope that along the way, all the PARENTING I did would have prepared them to be good people and make good choices regardless or whether or not their dreams had come true.

IronMamma March 20th, 2013 04:50 PM

Re: Big Dreams
This is a hard question to answer because it depends on what it is. Like to be in movies, no. I do not want my child to feel pressure and feel less of himself just to make money. Hollywood and the media is disgusting now a days. They have no morals. But maybe like a sport? I would. I would do anything for my son.

alittlelost March 20th, 2013 06:10 PM

Re: Big Dreams
My husband and I were discussing more today on this whole subject, too. One thing that came up with camp. There is this program in one of my daughter's sports that if you do well, you're invited to a 2 week overnight away sleep away camp in another state. It's a pretty big deal opportunity, but we had to discuss under what circumstances we would be okay with that (how old she is, how mature she is, how easy contact would be, if we might stay somewhere nearby while she's there, if she could have an adult we trust accompany her there, etc). I think it's one of those things you decide case by case, no matter what family you are in, but we're able to keep options open, so we will. I agree movies is a harder one, mostly because of the setting and circumstances for that.

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