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July 13, 2015

Goal Shedding

Hal photo outside Feb2012

“We inevitably doom our children to failure and frustration when we try to set their goals for them.” (Dr. Jess Lair)

As my teenagers age, we both engage in a sort of mutual disillusionment.

As they become more conscious and educated, their illusion of me as the strongest, smartest, greatest parent in the world* has given way to the reality of the real me, with both strengths and weaknesses, with both integrity and inconsistencies.

As they both become older and literally full-grown, my illusion of their limitless possibilities has given way to the reality of life, with SAT scores less than 1600, and a batting average less than 1.000.

What this mutual disillusionment has made me most aware of is my propensity to put my expectations on both of them, hoping that they will each begin to adopt those high expectations as their own personal goals. To put it mildly, this has not worked.

What has worked has been setting my own goals for myself, and pursuing those instead. Their goals are up to them.

*I am, of course, kidding. They never thought of me as the strongest & smartest, not with their mother around.

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