Today I Learn… I make a point of learning something new everyday. This is what I learn each day

1, Nov 2, 2009

Parents’ Career: A Hidden Reference Point for Children

Filed under: Career — admin @ 12:02 am

You may call parents providing role models for their children or as a Chinese saying nicely puts it, “Dragon begets dragon, phoenix begets phoenix.” Not always a good thing, though. See how this runs in the family of Kennedy and Bush.

An acquaintance of ours works at a local grocery store, her spouse working at a Chinese restaurant, both having been in their position for over a decade after they landed in Kansas. Their only child, in mid-20s, being a graduate from a local university, is happily employed at a US company, not far from home. They seem like having the perfect moment in their lives.

When I asked my children if they want to be like that. “Oh no, definitely not” was the answer, as if it were the most horrible thing that could happen to them. Actually, there is nothing wrong being so content in whatever position one has reached.

The thing that makes them cringe is actually their hidden reference reinforced by their growing up experience, the stories they were told in their early years. Children always aspire to rise up from the point of their parents. Never under-estimate how much children will refer back to their parents’ role model. For me, I still refer back to my parents and feel falling behind them, even after I have left them long ago. I told my children about their grandparents, which has served to inspire them.

Of course, as with any general rule, there are exceptions, where either children far exceed or far behind their parents’ in their accomplishments in society.

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