As parents, we devote time and energy to providing the “right” experiences for our children. We enroll them in classes, programs, and lessons that will enhance their skills so that they develop a proficient foundation to build upon for a successful future. We assume this will offer our kids more opportunity and options in adulthood, and will assure success and happiness. However, when we put down our to-do lists and reflect, parents wonder if the daily activities are promoting the most important fundamental values and beliefs. We know what we want for our children long term, but we’re not sure if our decisions accurately reflect our core values as parents.
During a round table last spring, we were reminded of the importance of ongoing discussions about these dilemmas. In this thought-provoking conversation, parents identified their long term goals - what they truly believe is most important in raising a child in the 21st century. Parents shared and generated strategies for integrating their deeply held desires into their children’s daily lives. They reflected on their challenges in balancing their values with cultural pressures, particularly when making achievement - related parenting decisions. The experience proved to be valuable and enriching for all.
Dr. Dana Dorfman, NYC psychotherapist and mother of two, facilitated and guided the conversation about these complicated parenting challenges. She addressed the cultural phenomenon and provided practical research based strategies to achieve parents’ goals.