your worst fear is coming to fruition. Your son is choosing art as his college major. Well, let's
talk about that today on Tips on Teens. My name is Kent Toussaint. I'm a licensed marriage and
family therapist, and I specialize in helping kids, teens, and families live happier lives.
I lead two organizations, the Group Private Practice Teen Therapy Center, and the nonprofit
501c3 organization, Child and Teen Counseling, both here in Woodland Hills, California.
And every Wednesday at noon, I jump onto Facebook Live to answer your parenting questions.
And let's go a little deeper into today's question. My kid is going off to college next year,
and so the topic of what do you wanna do with your life has been coming up. I'm a little worried
because he's thinking of majoring in art. As much as I want him to do something that interests
him, I also would like him to do something with more of a future. I love him, but I don't want to
be supporting him for the rest of his life either. How do I get
him to pick a more practical major without seeming too pushy? Thank you for your question. There's
a lot going on in this question. First, I wanna point out a statistic from the New York Federal
Reserve Bank. They did a big study of millions and millions of people, and only 27 % of college
graduates work in the field that they majored in. That means that 3 quarters of us work in fields
that we didn't major in. So what I'm trying to get at is what your son is majoring in has very little
to do with his ability to succeed or work in the world. Now, I understand the fear of, ah, art,
that's hard to do. If you're not a famous painter, what are you gonna do? There's a lot of options
you can do as an artist, right? For example, you can be a graphic designer, web design. You can
get into production design, makeup design, fashion design, all marketing, advertising.
These are all huge industries, especially in the Los Angeles area. There's even more. I'm just
scratching the surface. There are plenty
of ways to utilize creative skills. Now, you could push them towards being an accountant. Nothing
wrong with being an accountant. We need accountants. However, we need accountants who like
being accountants, just like we need lawyers and doctors, those two professions everyone
wants their kids to be. We need people who want to be those things, and the reason I'm bringing
those two professions up, lawyers and doctors, is I work with many families whose parents are
lawyers and doctors, and they'll confide in me saying, I hate being a lawyer, or I hate being
a doctor, but I was pushed into it by my parents, and I can't get out of it now because I'm established,
but I hate doing it every day, and they're miserable. Would you rather have your kid making a
lot of money but be miserable, or making a little less money but really love what they do? And
from an emotional health standpoint point of view, enjoyment of life point of view, better
to make less money and love what you do every day. Now,
I don't know if your kid's gonna stay with a major. Most kids will change their majors, so who
knows what he's gonna do, but if he's able to go to college and jump in with both feet and really
commit to art, who knows where it's gonna go? It's not the only option of being a famous painter
or being a bum on Venice Beach. There's a lot of in -between there, and again, he may never be an
artist. He may decide to go become a history professor or an accountant, who knows? But the creative
skills he learns from being an art major at that time may feed his career his whole life, or may
feed his hobbies. That may be his one thing that he does. Maybe he has a regular, stable, conventional
job, but he has a hobby of art that feeds his soul, that helps him process his feelings and emotions
and be a much emotionally healthier person, which I think is really important. I understand
your concern. Also, you don't have to support him the rest of his life. You can set boundaries
of, hey, if you wanna be
an art major, great, just like if you wanna be a history major or a pre -med major, whatever that
is, but you may have the boundary of, at a certain point, we're not paying for you anymore. Maybe
that's after college, maybe you've got a certain amount of time, a few months, six months, it
really depends up to you. You can come back, live at home, but come time X, once you've graduated,
you're on your own. Now, that may mean you're paying rent and you're buying groceries and you're
able to stay here, but you have to pay money, or, hey, you're on your own. Now, if they know that,
if that net is gone, they're more likely to take that leap of, I know that in six months, I gotta
be out of here. But if you don't have a clear boundary, if you're not communicating that clearly,
then they will push that boundary. And if your kid's not pursuing something that they're passionate
about, they're more likely to sit on your couch. If he's pursuing something he's passionate
about, he's more likely to be
out in the world and doing things, and finding ways to use his major in a way that feeds him. And
maybe he's not making $5 million a year, but you don't need that much money to be happy. If he has
enough money to pay for his house, food, a car, health insurance, maybe that's all he needs.
Again, what's really important is loving what you do. There are many people watching this,
some of you love what you do, and you would do it for free if you could. Many of you hate your job,
but you do it because it's the only thing you got, and it's good money. And again, would you take
a little bit less money to do something that you're excited to get up in the morning every day
to do? I think you would. So anyways, I wouldn't pressure him to change his mind. I would embrace
him, support him, have boundaries. And if he decides to change his major his sophomore year,
great, no problem. But allow him to really pursue this career to see where it leads him, because
it could lead him something really amazing.
You never know. Anyways, I really appreciate your question. It's a great question. I hear this
question a lot. If you have another question you'd like me to answer here on Tips on Teens, all
you gotta do is email me at tipsonteens at teentherapycenter .com, or you can direct message
us right here on Facebook or on Instagram. We love your questions. Keep them coming. I will be
back next Wednesday at noon in your feed. Again, my name is Kent Toussaint from Teen Therapy
Center and Child and Teen Counseling, and we'll see you next week, guys. Bye -bye.
Oh no, your worst fears have come to fruition. Your son just told you he wants to be an Art Major in college.
“My kid is going off to college next year and so the topic of ‘what do you want to do with your life’ has been coming up. I’m a little worried because he’s thinking of majoring in art. As much as I want him to do something that interests him, I also would like him to do something with more of a future. I love him, but I don’t want to be supporting him for the rest of his life either. How do I get him to pick a more practical major without seeming too pushy?”
Tips On Teens is a vlog that our Clinical Director, Kent Toussaint, hosts every Wednesday at 12:00pm on Facebook Live. He will be answering parenting questions submitted to us by you to our email at TipsOnTeens@TeenTherapyCenter.com. Send us any questions you might have about parenting kids and teens and Kent will be answering them every week!
Head on over to our Facebook page every Wednesday at 12:00pm to watch LIVE! Check out our page here – https://www.facebook.com/TeenTherapyCenter/
If you have more questions or would like more information, please contact our Clinical Director, Kent Toussaint at 818.697.8555.