“Music Is My Passion, Not Engineering”: Expert Shares Advice on How To Navigate Dad’s Expectations

“Music Is My Passion, Not Engineering”: Expert Shares Advice on How To Navigate Dad’s Expectations

  • A young South African man opened up about the dilemma of wanting to pursue a career different from the one his father wants for him
  • The 23-year-old shared that his dad wants him to become an engineer; however, his passion lies in music
  • Speaking to Briefly News, parenting counsellor Jonathan Hoffenberg of the Parenting Centre shared various factors to take into consideration for man to navigate his problem
Father and son talking
A man said he's struggling to honour his dad's wish for him to become an engineer because he loves music more. Image: Klaus Vedfelt
Source: Getty Images
Anonymous wrote: "I'm a 23-year-old man who is struggling to balance loyalty to my father who wants me to become an engineer and my desperate need to follow my passion to pursue a career in music.
"I'm in my second year of a civil engineer degree and while I'm not struggling too much academically, I really do not like what I'm studying nor do I see a future in it for myself. How do I confront my dad about this?"

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Parenting counsellor weighs in on the matter

Jonathan Hoffenberg is an experienced parenting expert and manager of The Parent Centre, which offers training, counselling, and support for all parents and families.

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Jonathan told Briefly News that he was familiar with such instances. He worked at the University of Cape Town for 16 years in the Humanities Faculty and then at SHAWCO, where he saw many instances of parents and children clashing.

"Often with young men, the need to study needs to come from themselves, and all people struggle to really commit to something they don’t want to do.
"At the heart of all parents is fear and pride. We want our children to be happy, we want to feel that our children have a good future. I would advise the son to speak to his father about the father's concerns and address them," Jonathan advises.

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Jonathan further explains that the father could favour a career in engineering as it is more profitable than music.

Jonathan adds that another important question that needs to be asked and addressed is whether the son can support himself. Does his father have a fulfilling career? And has the father seen his son play?

"I would invite my dad to see me play in the hope that when he sees how happy it makes me he may recognise its importance."
"Lastly, the son can try to map it out and reach an agreement. Studying and the world of work is not linear anymore. He can always study engineering later in his life for example."

Jonathan advises the son to propose an option to his father, such as giving him two years to give music a decent attempt, and if it goes nowhere, he will study.

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"Try to find the middle ground that balances pragmatism, the father's fear, and the son’s passion," he concludes.

Disclaimer: Advice given in this article is general and is not the views of Briefly News. It is not intended to influence a reader's decisions. Readers are advised to seek professional help before making any decisions.

Do you have a story to tell? Want an expert's advice? Please email us at contact@briefly.co.za with 'Ask an expert' in the subject line.

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A relationship expert explains how the woman can address the situation and why her husband feels so betrayed.

Source: Briefly News

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