Monthly Archives: September 2014

Millennial Michael Price Has it All Wrong: Parents DO Have the Right to Give Kids Advice

When I opened Michael Price’s story, Why Today’s Parents Have No Business Giving Their Kids Advice, which appears in today’s Huffington Post, I mistakenly thought the piece had been penned by a parent.

However, the entrepreneur and author of What Next? The Millennial’s Guide To Surviving and Thriving in the Real World, makes no such claim.

So I say, until Price has walked a mile in a parent’s shoes, and cut his teeth on reality, he has no street cred – at least with me.

He writes, “When you consider how fast the world evolves nowadays, parents just simply have no business giving their kids life advice anymore. Parents of millennials and the new generation rising behind them have no idea what the future of tomorrow, much less the future 10 years from now looks like.”

As a parent who helped her adult children develop and pursue interests that later led to career fields, I take exception to Price’s rant. He seems to have bought into the lie that the world is moving forward at a such a rapid pace that little, if anything, is worth knowing.

My kids once had a geography teacher who believed the same thing. The guy didn’t pass out textbooks because, according to him, the world was changing too rapidly.

I asked him if the Nile was still in Africa.

So rather than take Price’s pessimistic view of traditional parent-wisdom to heart, I took the liberty of rewriting paragraph 12 of his article (which should have been his “grabber”). Here’s my version: Dear Millennials of America, I love and adore you but you simply don’t have all the answers and it’s OK to say so. It doesn’t make you any less of a son or daughter.

My contention is that while a multitude of today’s career options didn’t even exist when we were in school, many of them still do.

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But that’s not the real reason parents own the right to advise their kids. Here’s my take:

Advising is the wrong word for what most parents actually do. Maybe instead of saying we’re offering advice, we could more accurately say we are offering guidance or mentoring.

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And why do we have that right? Basically, because parents know their children better than anyone, and because passions, talents, and interests often begin in childhood.

By providing encouragement, and by nurturing their talents and interests, we can help our children grow into adults with the courage to build a foundation under their dreams.

Here’s another reason: Young people may seem as though they have it together, but many – perhaps most – really don’t. They may put on the armor of the purposeful and well-informed, but underneath that highly shellacked shell is soft, impressionable flesh.

Truth be told, we’re deceiving ourselves, and them, by believing they don’t need or want our help sorting out career choices. What they don’t want is a litany of dos and don’ts.

How can parents successfully advise the young people in their lives? By helping them take inventory of their interests over the years; by acting as a sounding board; and by bouncing around ideas and looking at the pros and cons without judging.


In his article, Price points to the problem of parents living vicariously through their kids. And I know several adults who suffered through college majors of their parents’ choice. But why put kids through the hell of studying something they don’t care about?

What Price doesn’t get is that most parents are not like that, wouldn’t do it, and only want their offspring to fulfill their potential.

The secret to having kids who will Continue reading