DR. WALLACE: I am currently attending a local community college. I am a music education major. After graduation, I hope to become a high school music teacher. So, here’s my problem. At this time, many school districts are cutting back on sports and arts programs, which include music.
My worried mother is convinced that when I graduate with a degree in teaching, there will be no openings for music teachers. She wants me to change my studies to focus on something like becoming a legal assistant.
Would it be wise to make a change right now? — Anonymous, via email
ANONYMOUS: Don’t abandon your goal to become a music teacher. At this time, many school districts are having difficulty funding some programs, including music and sports, but since both are crucial to a well-rounded education, these programs will be restored once funds become available again.
Make an appointment to speak with a personnel director at a local high school in the district and discuss your concerns. Oftentimes, a music teacher can teach an additional discipline, such as English, history, math or physical education, if he or she has gained proficiency in this area. Doing so might be a wise course of action for you. It would have the additional benefit of putting your mother at ease about your future.
I feel following your passion and field of interest is a better course for you to pursue than making a change simply to find a job in a field you have no particular interest in.
DR. WALLACE: In your professional opinion, which type of parent does more harm to their children — those who are extra permissive and don’t set rules for their children, or those who are super strict and have rules for everything? My husband of two months came from parents who were control freaks, while my parents let me do almost anything I wanted to. When we have children, hopefully within a few years or so, we will be a blend of each other’s upbringings and not extreme one way or the other the way our parents were. Do you agree with our logic? — Future Parent, via email
FUTURE PARENT: Since both types of parents aren’t exactly the easiest on their kids, I could cop out by saying they are equally wrong, but I won’t do that.
My personal opinion is that parents who are super strict produce an overly inhibited teen and do more psychological damage than parents who are overly permissive. I base this opinion on my many experiences with parents and their troubled teens during my stints as a high school administrator. This is my personal opinion and in no way a professional study.