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How much say will you have in LOs choice of major?

  1. Bookish

    GOLD / cantaloupe / 6581 posts

    I like to think it will be an open discussion. We will probably only be covering about 50% of her college, and although it would be nice to have a doctor or engineer in the family, as long as she keeps her grades up and has a clear idea of where the major will lead her (even if it's not where I would lead her) then that's fine by me.

  2. Lindsay05

    pomegranate / 3759 posts

    Zero. They will be adults and make that decision on their own. I'm sure we will discuss at some point during high school about job availability and what area would be more successful.

  3. pastemoo

    cantaloupe / 6146 posts

    Hopefully none because if he changes to what I say and then can't find a job he'll blame me forever after.
    I mean.... if I was worried I might recommend a 2nd major or minor or something but it's so far from now. I really don't know.

  4. Dandelion

    watermelon / 14206 posts

    None. Its their choice.

  5. nana87

    cantaloupe / 6171 posts

    None. More than anything else I'd want my child to follow his/her passion.

    In my experience, my parents pushed us to do well academically and to work very hard but not in any particular subject or another. And fwiw, my brother was a music major and got an mfa, and then applied to law school, got a merit scholarship which is like unheard of for law school, and is now a lawyer at a big firm. I majored in the humanities, worked for 4 years in a social science research field, and then went back to humanities for my phd. So I don't think a major ties you to a particular field if you get a well rounded liberal arts degree

  6. Boheme

    papaya / 10473 posts

    We will provide guidance upon choosing a major and a career, but not instruction.

  7. MrsKoala

    cantaloupe / 6869 posts

    None. My LO can choose whatever major they would like. We will talk about it a lot but it's really up to the individual to decide what they want to do.

  8. mrsmate

    persimmon / 1081 posts

    I think we will be more skills-focused than major-focused. For example, I would like all of my kids to know computer programming and at least 2 foreign languages. I think (in general) if they have marketable skills, it matters less what their degrees are in.

  9. shinymama

    persimmon / 1128 posts

    None, and the money that we've saved for their college educations will be available with no strings or opinions attached. Truly.

  10. indi

    clementine / 984 posts

    @shinymama: Same. We'll contribute what we can, and let our child choose their own path. We'll obviously have discussion re: passions, talents, goals, and employability, but in the end it's their life and their choice and anything we give them is a gift.

  11. Mrs. High Heels

    blogger / eggplant / 11551 posts

    I don't think I'd force my kid into a specific major, but I would like to help them weigh out their options, and work with them to figure out the pros and cons, so that they can make an informed decision. I wish my parents gave me more guidance as I headed into the real world.

  12. oliviaoblivia

    pineapple / 12793 posts


  13. twinmama

    pear / 1723 posts

    We aren't planning on paying for most of their college, so while we'll definitely talk things over with them, it's ultimately their decision.

  14. sunny

    coconut / 8430 posts

    Well I guess I am in the minority when I say that I will encourage my children to pick majors that lead to careers in which they would be able to support themselves and have comfortable lives.

  15. mrsjyw

    GOLD / wonderful apricot / 22646 posts

    we'll likely try to steer them towards economically sound choices.

    Dh and I both wish that both of our parents had more to say in our college education (I have a liberal arts undergrad degree + DH has a bs in BAdmin)... with economy, etc. we both wish that they had more knowledge of the job market/college degrees/etc. and pushed us in different directions. We pretty much agree that while we're successful, we work for our paychecks and aren't one of the lucky few that 100% "loves what we do for a living). So for that reason alone wish we had more lucrative careers, even if it wasn't the "interest" we had in college.

  16. mrsjyw

    GOLD / wonderful apricot / 22646 posts

    @sunny: agreed!

  17. Purpledaisy

    nectarine / 2972 posts

    None. We aren't paying for her college. I will give her my advice but ultimately it's her decision.

  18. mrs. 64

    nectarine / 2936 posts

    I definitely want a say. I'm glad my parents gave their opinions about things when I was 18 because I was clueless.

  19. Eminthevalley

    apricot / 343 posts

    As a college guidance counselor, I'm horrified when students choose a major that will "get a job," yet they're not passionate about it and then don't do well...I say it's better to choose something you like so you can finish your degree and the job will follow!

  20. LaughLines

    clementine / 880 posts

    I think we will talk to them a lot about majors that lead to employable careers in well paying sectors. I would hope that growing up living with us some of those values would rub off a bit.

    If they did choose to go into something we don't necessarily approve of, I would start to get involved. Not by saying "no way" and pulling money, but by making them justify their choice. If they want to major in interpretive dance or whatever, i want them to give me a 5 and 10 year plan of what they'd do with it, research the job opportunities available and the pay. I want them to have informational interviews with people who have real jobs in that area and ask about what got them to where they are and how likely a major is to actually get that job, etc. Like, if they think they're going to be some famous interpretive dancer, i want them to be realistic about the chances of that actually happening - not everyone who majors in it would be automatically successful, a lot are probably graduated and working in some job that doesn't pay much and has nothing to do with it.

    I also don't think it matters who pays. We plan to pay for our kids college and are saving up to do so, but if they were paying themselves and taking out loans in their name, it's perhaps even MORE important they have a job that can pay for those loans when they come due. If they're working at mcdonalds with 100k in student debt... well that's not the life i want for them and i think being proactive before it gets to that point is part of my job.

  21. Orchid

    clementine / 927 posts

    I wouldn't leave a 17 or 18 year old to make a major life decision on their own. I plan to be heavily involved in the decision process, even if I'm not the one footing the bill. I'd never coerce my child into a particular major but I wouldn't be hands off on this or any other major life decision until after 21 or so. I don't really view 18 year olds as self sufficient adults. Their brains aren't even fully developed yet.

    Eta: whoa, this is a really old thread!

  22. StrawberryBee

    nectarine / 2530 posts

    I would never truly redirect her from something she loves, but I want her to be realistic about it. I did great in school and then went to art school (which I shouldn't have done, but worked out for me because of sheer dumb luck). My mom gave me no direction except to 'do something'. If I had it to do over again now, I'd major in math or finance. My problem was there was no subject that stood out for me, so I didn't know where to focus (except that I hated history and social studies).

    My sister went and got herself a language degree. Which is great and all, but she's not much better qualified (imho) than someone who grew up in a bilingual household. I would have advised that she minor in the language and major in something that interested her and paired with it. She's currently 25 and working at the mall, and losing her language skills because she doesn't get many chances to practice it.

    I don't think that many people at that age really know what they want to do. College is just viewed as a 'given', a continuation of high school where you get to pick more subjects that interest you. The money doesn't really become a reality until after you're graduated and looking at that 10 year repayment of the loan. I think that some guidance is necessary, to use our years of experience to help them arrive at a goal that gets them what they really want.

  23. Rainbow Sprinkles

    eggplant / 11287 posts

    None at all. No way.

    But I will absolutely be around for encouragement and support and advice. And more, but only if they want it.

  24. erinpye

    pomegranate / 3706 posts

    Wow this is an old thread! I had never even considered that I would have a say- why would I? It's not my studies or my life, and I'm not going to take that away from my kids. I was allowed to study what I wanted to, follow my interests, and *that's* how a person learns the best. I majored in something a little obscure, and I've been able to get plenty of jobs, as well as create a successful company all on my own. I would have never had the drive to do that if I had been forced to complete an education that didn't engage and interest me. College is about more than your major, and I won't rob my children of their full experiences.

  25. Tanjowen

    nectarine / 2521 posts

    I will heavily encourage LO to consider options while in high school, and then again heavily encourage either volunteering or shadowing in those fields to see what he thinks.

    I also don't want to force him into anything the first semester of college. I changed my major the first year and I think it is so common once you get into college and start taking core classes. Ultimately, I think he's going to be the best student and worker in what field he falls in love with and not what I'd prefer.

  26. catomd00

    grapefruit / 4418 posts

    None. Sure, I'll try to teach her to see the importance of a degree that provides her with opportunities, but ultimately it will be her choice. Most people don't go into a field related to their degree. I did and hated it! Industry Experience is much more important then the major you chose.

  27. Greentea

    pomelo / 5678 posts

    I think the most important thing is for me to support her. It is her life. If she is a passionate 'fill in the blank' I will support that.

  28. Mrs. Jacks

    blogger / pineapple / 12381 posts

    I would say it's completely their choice, but the fact is all the stuff we do in our home now is math/science oriented. Hopefully we will have set the stage so that our kids pick things that have decent earning potential but also are fulfilling to them.

  29. travellingbee

    hostess / papaya / 10219 posts

    I will happily share my opinion and experiences if he wants, but I will not have ANY say in his life choices at that point. My support is not conditional. I will pay for college because I want him to get an education but what he chooses to pursue is up to him. He will be the one having to walk the path he has chosen.

  30. PawPrints

    pomegranate / 3658 posts

    This question is really startling to me. I'm trying to imagine if my parents had ever attempted to influence my choice of major (beyond high-level advice about trying to keep myself marketable). I would have been shocked if they had tried to. And they paid for my degree.

  31. sarac

    pomelo / 5093 posts

    @PawPrints: I'm with you. I can't imagine trying to influence my adult children like that. It's bizarre to me. Follow your dreams, kids.

    What I WILL say is that if you want to use the money I've saved for you, you need to come out of college with some immediately marketable job skill. So, get your lifeguarding certificate and work summers. Get a teaching degree, or a paramedic degree. Or go to community college over a summer and get certified in phlebotomy. Whatever, I just don't plan to pay for BA in Fine Arts that will have little ability to translate into a real life job without also knowing that they have some other useful job skill.

  32. californiadreams

    pomegranate / 3411 posts

    i would like to think i will have no say, but i may certainly offer up my opinion or unsolicited advice I won't actively stop him from choosing or going into anything though. And we will do our best to financially support him.

  33. BandDmommy

    pomelo / 5660 posts

    Wow, this is a very old thread.. LOL

  34. BandDmommy

    pomelo / 5660 posts

    @erinpye: I know! Wonder why it got bumped

  35. gingerbebe

    cantaloupe / 6131 posts

    I mean, our kids are definitely going to get an earful in terms of our opinion on the matter. I can't force them into a certain major, but I will inform them of the impact that it may have on their career and future earning potential. We'll also bring up the fact that DH and I worked extremely hard to put ourselves through school without the benefit of parents paying for our tuition and that if we give financial support for college, we would expect our kids to take that support very seriously and not fritter away such a huge privilege.

    That said I really appreciated how attentive my parents were to my brother and I when we were kids. They paid close attention to what we enjoyed, what we were good at, our personalities, and temperaments and steered us towards classes, hobbies, and interests that encouraged those things. So by the time we got around to researching colleges my parents did encourage us to pursue practical majors that had good career potentials but suggested those that specifically appealed to our interests and talents. That really helped my brother and I inform our college choices and job decisions. DH's dad did the same for him. I hope to do the same for my kids.

  36. SleepyMonkey

    grapefruit / 4006 posts

    I definitely will especially if we are paying for it. My parents actually did tell me that i couldn't pick a specific major when i was thinking about switching to it, and that i needed to stick with something practical. I was resentful at the time but now i think they were right and i am glad they intervened.

  37. erinpye

    pomegranate / 3706 posts

    @SleepyMonkey: just another perspective, I think it matters what the person is like. You appreciated your parents directing you, however in my case, if I would have been told I couldn't study what I wanted to, I would have dropped out. For me, nothing is worse than being passionless about what I'm doing/ learning.

    I asked DH today if he thinks we should have a say in our girls' college majors, and he was dumbfounded it was even a question I'd ask him. We're firmly against the notion, unless they solicit our advice.

  38. Mrs. Pen

    blogger / wonderful cherry / 21616 posts

    @PawPrints: @sarac: my parents questioned my major choice and I'm so glad they did! I was going to go for journalism- and I know I would have regretted it if I did. Now I'm in a program I love and I'm passionate- even if it took an extra seven years to get here

    They didn't TELL me though. They just talked about cost vs outcome, and job market. Then I made the decision on my own.

  39. Kimberlybee

    grapefruit / 4997 posts

    @BandDmommy: Wow this is an old thread but looking at the date, it was near my DD's first Halloween, it brings back lots of warm, fuzzy feelings! Time is just flying by too fast. My pp insomnia was awful, I loved HelloBee during this time. LOL

  40. jedeve

    pomegranate / 3643 posts

    I think it was showing up as a "you may also like" under the POTUS thread.

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