DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: My mom and dad split when I was really young, and my dad moved away and started a new family. My mom raised my brother and me mostly on her own, although my dad always supported us financially, including paying for college.
He wanted us both to become lawyers, like him, which suited my brother, but not me. I am working on my master’s in social work, and while I am paying for that myself, my dad always makes sure he lets me know what a mistake he thinks I’m making. He tells me I could do more good in the world by being a state’s attorney, or even working as a public defender, if I want to be of use to others. He thinks I am throwing away a good mind on a mediocre career.
I am perfectly happy with the path I’m taking. I can think of no better way to serve my community than the one I’ve chosen, regardless of what my father thinks.
Why can’t he lay off his criticism and just support my goals? --- NOT MY FATHER
DEAR NOT MY FATHER: It’s hard to be a parent and not have a vision for how you think your child’s life should or could go.
You’re following your own dreams, in your own way, and as I see it, the best you can do for now is to continue reminding your father of that. He’s perhaps been very happy with his career choices, and now you need to affirm that you’ve found what you believe will make you equally happy, and that you have the same right as he did to make your own way in the field of your choosing.