Encouraging your Children to Follow Their Dreams

23 Aug

It’s a Friday night and I am in bed with a raging sinus infection. For my amusement, I am surfing through You Tube looking for some good musical tunes to listen to. Having grown up in the suburbs of Philadelphia in the ’70’s, I am very happy to come across a clip of one of my favorite groups, Hall and Oates doing a cover of She Used to be My Girl by the O’Jays, another great Philly band. As I am watching this, I am just amazed at how great this video is, and how I feel bad that Hall & Oates have never really gotten the respect they deserve from the music world. Abandoned Luncheonette is my favorite album by them. When they were first starting out, they didn’t get a record deal right away. They met a guy named Tony Mattola, you know the guy who headed Sony Music, when he was just starting out. He saw their talent and got them a record deal, and the rest is history.

There is a point to my ramblings here. Through encouragement, Daryl Hall and John Oates achieved great success through lots of encouragement from their families to never give up on their dreams. They could have given up and said it’s too hard, I’m just going to be like everyone else and get a regular 9-5 job. They didn’t do that. They followed their dreams.

I come from a musically inclined family on my mother’s side. My grandmother sang opera. My grandfather played piano. As a child, I was always singing and dancing. I can remember riding around  with my grandfather on my father’s side in his country squire station wagon around the Main Line listening to WIP-AM, which at the time had a top 40 radio format. My dog Hansey, a dachshund, would slobber and bark along with me as we sang along in the car. I knew in my heart I always wanted to sing. As I got older, I performed in musicals for local theatres, as well as school plays in high school. By my junior year, I decided I wanted to go to school to sing in New York City. That was my dream. That dream was soon crushed.

When applying for schools, my father told me that pursuing a musical career was in his words, “Ridiculous. Why don’t you pursue something sensible, like a business degree. It’s too competitive. You’ll never make it”. Eventually, I gave in and got my business degree. I did well for myself. Then I got married and have a family. While I’m happy I had the career I did, I look back now but can’t help but wonder “what if…..”

My daughter has been blessed with my genes when it comes to singing. She chooses not to take advantage of it. I try to encourage her to sing with me on occasion, and whenever I am listening to a music video and singing too loud, she will come shut the door on me because I am too loud! I keep encouraging her in all her interests. She plays tennis and golf, and I always tell her to work hard at it because you can reach your dreams if you really want it. I don’t know where she wants to take the tennis or golf, or if maybe she might decide she does want to pursue a musical career, or she wants to be the next Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. The point is she should know that the sky is the limit, and you should always reach for the stars. Anything is possible! That is my life lesson for tonight.

I will leave you with this great Hall & Oates  You Tube video I mentioned above.




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