difficult child just told us her career goals, and I am a little sad

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by StressedM0mma, Nov 27, 2011.

  1. StressedM0mma

    StressedM0mma Active Member

    difficult child 14 told us last night that she is thinking about going into the cosmetology program at the H.S. It is a 2 year program, so she has another year to be certain. My husband is much more supportive, telling her if that is what is going to make her happy then go for it. And, while I want to be able to say that, and be telling her the truth, I can't. Not yet. I hope I will be able to soon though.
    difficult child is a brilliant girl. She has taken H.S. level classes since 7th grade. Until the depression hit hard this year, she had been a 4.0 student. Prior to the failing grades she wanted to be a vet. She says she is still considering it. I am so concerned that all of her friends will be leaving for college, and she will miss out on such a big part of growing up, leaving home and attending university. I know in my heart she needs to do what is best for her, but I am sad.
    We talked last night a little about her dropping down to college prep level classes to raise her grades, and she seemed receptive. And, we also told her with the classes she took in Middle school, she should be able to fit in enough other classes to still attend college if she chose to. So I guess we will just have to see how this all plays out.
    I know her happiness is the biggest priority, I am just trying to get my head to go along with the plan.
  2. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    Maybe once she gets onto medications and the haze of depression lifts she might change her mind again back to what her original plan was. Give her some time. But you are right that she has to do what makes her happy. Maybe she's thinking that this would be easier for her and less stressful? Hang in there. She can change her mind a hundred times between now and college time.
  3. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    I understand your concerns...

    On the one hand, I think it's pretty normal for most girls to at least consider the cosmetology program. And hey, if that's what she wants - good for her!

    Problem is, by taking the cosmetology courses, she may be missing out on other classes.

    So why not this:

    Tell your daughter you support her - but you are concerned that she is limiting her choices too early. What about completing high school as though she were planning on attending a four year university - and then, upon graduation....if she still wants to pursue cosmetology instead of university - you will help put her through cosmetology school.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Ok, I'm going to defend your daughter :) First of all, that's not a bad job. There is no recession there. Secondly, that is often a first career that changes. My oldest daughter started out as a cosmetologist and was never w ithout work, but decided she wanted to go back to school so she did. Your daughter can always make up the classes.

    It is hard to drag yourself out of bed when you are depressed. I'm impressed that she has the gumption to have a goal at all. I would support her decision. We can not in my opinion live OUR dreams through our kids. It's in my opinion not fair.
  5. StressedM0mma

    StressedM0mma Active Member

    Midwestmom I totally agree with you. I know it is a great career. And, I have no problem with her deciding that is what she wants. I am just concerned about her changing her mind later and being stuck. I am glad to know that she can decide to go on to university and not be penalized. That was my main concern. And, we are happy that she is looking to the future. But right now, we just need to get her through this semester without failing out of school. And, like I said I know her happiness is paramount, it is just hard to let go sometimes.
  6. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think it is amazing just how many of the difficult child's want or wanted to be vets. I think the percentage is probably up around 80% or more. I also think a lot of girls decide to either go the hair route or head into the opposite direction into car mechanics. Thats what happened in my class.

    I know in my local community college we have a cosmetology school. wondering...does your high school have any sort of agreement with the local community college to do a duel program where they work on both HS and AA degree at the same time? Ours does and it is called Early HS. Why its not called Early College I will never know. They start in sophomore year going to HS and college classes on the community college campus. And its free to the parents. If the kids work it right, they will have both a HS diploma and a AA or AS diploma when the graduate HS..or at least one year later and it is all free.
  7. confuzzled

    confuzzled Member

    vocational programs arent what they used to be...its typically not one or the other anymore. i'd assume she still has to take the core (academic) graduation requirement course too.

    i would make it a point to go to the voc school open house and/or speak to a guidance counselor about all of your questions and concerns--you might be pleasantly surprised.

    some voTechs are *really* impressive with their offerings, and often DO have reciprocity with community colleges....

    but i'd find out every.single.detail of whats offered in your district before making a firm decision.

    as time goes on, i'm personally really starting to see the enormous value to "trade" type educations--i'm all for any kind of skill based training that can translate into a life long job.

    these days, an (overpriced) uni degree isnt necessarily the only path to success.

    oh, and ps: one of the biggest challenges i personally struggle with is seperating out *my hopes and dreams* from difficult child's...i *think* things should be a particular way, and often mine has the wisdom to know that it cant be that way. i just have to remember to listen :)
  8. StressedM0mma

    StressedM0mma Active Member

    Our program lets the children graduate with their license and a H.S. diploma. They do still take all of their core classes. She can also earn 30 credits to a community college. So it isn't terrible. And, like I said I am most concerned that if she does change her mind, I do not want her to be cornered into something she doesn't want. But it gave me some relief that some people have mentioned their children have gone on to college after. She is a Freshman and the program doesn't start until Jr. year, so we have another year to decide. Thank you everyone for letting me bounce everything off of you.
    It is also hard for me to look at votech the same way. I attended a Prep school that didn't even offer any votech options, so good or bad it was frowned upon. I know there is nothing wrong with any service jobs, I guess she just really threw me for a loop.
  9. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    our community college offers most of the pre-reqs that transfer to university level classes. Many students here go to the local community college for a two year college transfer aa degree and then transfer over to our local UNC campus.
  10. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I do understand how you are feeling. My easy child/difficult child is so bright and could basically have any career she wants is not going to any school this year (doesn't know what she wants to be; at one time it was a vet, a neuro-phsyicist (sp?), and astronomer and now no idea at all). I know right now it is what is good for her (she really needs a break and has to want it for herself) yet there are so many things that I think she is missing out on. I have to keep telling myself whichever direction she decides is what is hopefully right for her. She had always planned on college which is why I think I have to keep telling myself it is o.k.-she too suffers from depression. Sending understanding hugs your way.

    by the way, my niece went to a tech school and then cosmetology school and is making great money right now and she loves what she is doing.
  11. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    I've seen some of my coworkers go to school for cosmetology (a lot of the people I work with are late teens/early 20s). Funny thing, most of them came back to working fast food at our restaurant (it's not bad as such go, our turnover is really low, boss is great and has been there 20+ years).

    On the other hand, cosmetology doesn't have to stay at the local salon - branching out into theater, movie, television make-up arenas is also possible. Or creating her own line of products, maybe something geared to people with sensory disorders. :)

    The best thing? She's 14. Your average college student will change their major about seven times in the first two years (and hence why core classes are pushed for those years, so you don't waste time/money on major-specific courses that go to waste).
  12. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't worry too much about it yet. When I was 14, I wanted to be a hairdresser. I had no particular skill in that direction and was more the bookish type. It is all up for grabs and highly fluid at that age.
  13. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I wonder if she could get a young student "internship" in a salon to see real life in that kind of a job to see if she really likes it..she could sweep and make appointments and assist maybe.... and if anyone was willing to take her under their wing they could tell her what they like and what they dont like about the job.

    If she does this but then changes her mind and wants to go to college will she not have the right kinds of classes etc. for entrance? Is that the worry? Seems so young to be making big career choices.... sorry it is a stress, but the bright side is she does not want to quit school.
  14. StressedM0mma

    StressedM0mma Active Member

    You are right Buddy. It is so young, but they have to make the votech decision by Jan. of their Sophomore year. And you are also right that she obviously has a plan and is intending to stay in school.
    I did get her to actually talk to me this evening while I was folding laundry. She told me she has been thinking about this for awhile, and that she was thinking about still going to college for a business degree. So, I had a little sigh. So, we will see. Right now I just want her to not flunk out.
  15. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Stressed, I understand. I go through this nearly every day, knowing that my difficult child could be a straight-A student but he couldn't care less, and we'll be lucky if he attends and finishes a community college. on the other hand, your daughter has already shown herself capable, and has been pulled under by depression, so it's possible for her to lift herself up again, academically. However, if it's too much for her, she may become so depressed and overwhelmed, she never recovers.
    I agree with-Confuzzled, that most community colleges now require basic courses during the first yr, so your daughter will still be able to work her way through for the first yr or more with-o getting "stuck" in a field she doesn't like. And she'll have a counselor to help her figure out which credits transfer (some of it can be done online, or with-admissions offices at various universities).
    I would just take a deep breath and let yourself be sad for awhile, and not dwell on it after a while. She has plenty of time to change her mind and take many more courses.
  16. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    My son's girlfriend is a HS senior in the second year of a vocational cosmetology program. She's a bright girl but has had some real dysfunction in her family. When my son first started going with her, she told my D her favorite activity was "setting fires." She is two years behind in school because of having been in foster care and other issues. However, she is a very bright young woman and my H and I are encouraging her to go to college. She is dirt poor and part Native American so she will get great FA. We hope it will inspire our son to return to college as well.

    Anyway, she showed us photos of some of the work she is doing. She is apparently excellent at updo's and fancy hairstyles. The work she showed us was lovely. My D asked if she would do her hair if she had an occasion. I could see her making money doing hair for weddings, proms and other affairs. I pointed out that she could do this on weekends to earn money to pay for college and her living expenses.

    Your D could do the same. Since she is already ahead from her advanced classes and she doesn't seem inclined to want Ivy type schools (believe me, my difficult child is Ivy smart but is barely going to get into CC so I do understand), she could learn a skill that will come in handy. If she is away at school, she could supplement her income by doing hair for other students. It's an honest trade and something she can always fall back on. Of course, this is assuming that she even has any aptitude or interest in it once she starts. My son's girlfriend said most of her first year was spent sweeping and washing up while watching other people work. Then, they started on mannequin heads. However, she will graduate HS with 7 college credits from the voc program - my D did not have any in the regular college bound program at the HS.

    So many of the ideas my oldest son had were discarded when he saw how much work was involved. Culinary school, photography classes, etc. Most kids have no clue what they want to do.