Mom Gives Tone-Deaf Teen A Reality Check By Refusing To Let Her Audition For Singing Shows


Plenty of kids around the world grow up dreaming about being a famous singer. I used to sit my relatives down on holidays and force them to listen while I sang Christmas songs or whatever I was in the mood to perform that day. I constantly sang in the shower, and I fantasized about selling out an arena one day.

Once I became a teenager, however, I was able to pull my head down from the clouds and realize that those dreams weren’t very realistic for me. But what should parents do when their kids cling onto unattainable dreams? Below, you’ll find a story that a mother shared on the “Am I the Jerk?” subreddit detailing how she hurt her daughter’s feelings by giving her a reality check.

This woman’s teenage daughter has big dreams of becoming a famous singer

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But now she’s wondering if she was wrong for giving her teen a stark reality check

Image credits: 19 Television


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It can be difficult for parents to find a balance between being supportive and realistic

Most of us are told to have big dreams when we’re young. Children are encouraged to dream of being a movie star, the president or a professional athlete when asked what they want to be when they grow up. And it’s nice to be told that the world is your oyster and that your possibilities are endless. But then one day, we’re suddenly expected to realize that that wasn’t actually true. And if you don’t get a “real job,” you’re acting delusional or childish.

According to psychologist Emma Kenny, there might be better messages that we can tell our children than that they can do anything they want. “You want to create a realistic expectation and anticipation of the world without making them feel limited,” Kenny told CNBC

“The reality is, knowing your limits to some degree isn’t about tempering your dreams. It’s about helping you concentrate on the areas and elements that make a difference to your life positively,” she added. But that doesn’t mean that we need to be harsh with our children and outright squash their dreams either.

Parents can support their children by helping them set attainable goals

Even if you know your child isn’t talented enough to win The Voice or perform in Eurovision, singing is something that we can all do, just for fun! You might sing in the shower, in the car, at karaoke night, and there’s no need to feel self-conscious in those environments. 

Choral music expert Steven Demorest says that humans are the only species that engage in musical sound as play, so telling a child that they can’t sing can ruin the joy they associate with that play. That doesn’t mean we have to lie to them and say they’re the best singer in the world. But there’s no harm in letting them sing in the car or even perform every now and then if that’s what truly brings them joy.

As a parent, it’s important to support your children and be there for them no matter what, but that might also include helping them set realistic goals. It can be painful for moms and dads to see their kids set goals that they know are unachievable, so New Horizon Academy recommends guiding children to ensure that their goals are attainable. They provide the example of wanting to be the president. This might actually stem from a desire to help people, so in the meantime, they can start volunteering or helping out friends at school. 

It’s important for kids to experience failure and learn how to grow from it

In this particular situation, the mother wants to spare her daughter the potential embarrassment of being told she’s not a good singer publicly. And while it’s natural for parents to want to protect their kids, it can actually be important for children to experience some adversity from time to time. According to CNN Health, failure is a great tool for kids because it teaches them emotional strength.

If we go through life without ever experiencing a setback, the first time we do will be devastating. But if we learn how to problem solve and brush ourselves off after experiencing failures at a young age, we’ll be much more resilient later in life. Bright Horizons also recommends that parents let their kids fail, as “coping skills are like muscles; we don’t know how strong they truly are until we need to use them.”

Failure can be heartbreaking, jarring and extremely painful for both the kids experiencing it and their parents watching them go through it. But moms and dads can’t protect their kids from life forever. As long as they’re there to hug them and provide support after the fact, they’re still doing a great job. We would love to hear your thoughts on this story in the comments below, pandas, and then you can check out another Bored Panda article discussing parenting conflicts.

Many readers took the mother’s side, and she joined in on the conversation to provide more info

Readers continued assuring the mother that she had done nothing wrong

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