This week we’re wrapping up our five-part series on the lies that parents tell their children as highlighted in author Tim Elmore’s book Generation iY. This series was so popular the first time we ran it that we’re featuring it again with the hope that it will encourage you and remind you of the truth. It has been a great and timely reminder for me because another one of my children is heading off to college this Fall. All five lies are listed here if you’d like to review.
Lie #5. “Every Child Should Go to College.”
As parents, we often tell our kids that they need to stay focused in school and work hard to earn good grades. Why? Because after they graduate from high school they will go to college, and good grades are a requirement for getting accepted into a reputable school. But should every child go to college?
I have five kids that are very different, and their education paths are no exception. One of my sons just graduated and is headed off to a four-year university a few hours from home. Conversely, one of my daughters opted to join the Navy after high school and didn’t attend a four-year university. Neither child’s path is wrong, just different and specifically catered to their talents, goals, and dreams. It’s important to note that just because something seems to be the set norm, even something big like attending college, it may not be right for your child.
I believe that every child has gifts and talents. And I believe that we should encourage our kids to do their best, aim high, and dream big. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that college is right for every single person. Sometimes technical or vocational schools are all they need. Sometimes they don’t even need that to pursue their dream. Many children grow up with strong trade skills and become mechanics and plumbers. Others have an incredible yearning to work as adventure guides or forest rangers.
Here are some college alternatives for you and your child to consider. Do you believe every child should go to college? I’d love to hear your thoughts.