No, Your Kid Can’t Be Whatever He Wants When He Grows Up

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One of the saddest facts of American society is the unrealistic expectations American parents, for decades, have set for their children. Much of this stems from their living vicariously through their kids.

You know, the “Johnny, you can be whatever you want when you grow up if you put your mind to it.”

Or, “In America, if you can dream it, you can do it.”

Although the United States indeed offers more opportunities than most countries, it’s important to be realistic.

If a child has parents under six feet, his likelihood of becoming a professional basketball player is diminished. It’s not impossible but is highly unlikely.

But physical handicaps alone don’t determine a person’s career limitations. Even in America, who a child’s parents are and what they do matters career-wise. If you’re a waiter, and your spouse is a mechanic, your kid is probably not going to become a doctor, lawyer, or a professor.

We all know the inspirational stories of people raised in poverty who went on to make millions. But that’s not the norm, and if you look at the exceptions, these millionaires or successful professionals didn’t come upon their millions or professions by setting out from an early age to succeed.

They often started out doing something similar to what their parents did. They then used their instinctive know-how, work ethic, and practical sense their hardworking parents taught them to start businesses, make wise investments, or achieve professional success later in life — often at the expense of their health and relationships.

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