Q: We are worried about our son. He seems to spend more time daydreaming than he does studying and that cannot help him through his first year at university. Our son is bright and his father and I have great expectations for him, but none of those expectations are likely to be met if he does not do some of his schoolwork. We are not sure what to do to get him back on track.
A: I hope that you are not trying to eliminate daydreaming from your son’s list of things to do. Without dreams, we would not likely have electric light bulbs, telephones, fast cars or even the e-mail that you sent me.
Dreams help young people create the path they choose.
You can set expectations you want for your son, but until he takes ownership for those expectations through his dreams, he is not likely to succeed. In fact, he may not choose your expectations at all.
The problem with dreams is that they can breed a life of their own and then they get dangerous. They might set expectations beyond those that are reasonable. Successful people intensify their dreams as they reach various goals previous dreams set for them.
Dreams also have to be transient. Your son may not get himself into medical school, but if he is keen to be of service to others, he can opt for other alternative health-care professions.
Don’t ask your son to stop daydreaming, but help him keep in control of those dreams.