DEAR HARRIETTE: My husband and I are college graduates, and we always assumed our kids would go to college, too. Both of our children are in their 20s. They have decent jobs, but neither of them finished college. We are so disappointed. We know we can’t live our children’s lives for them, but we have read that you can definitely increase your salary with a college degree. Should we continue to encourage them to go back to school or just let them live their lives? -- College Dreams
DEAR COLLEGE DREAMS: Rather than admonishing them about a choice they have made, talk to your children about their visions of the future. Ask them to imagine their lives five to 10 years from now. What are they doing? How are they earning a living? Do they have a family? Do they own a home? Based on their answers, ask them how they are going to plot their course so that they are prepared to meet their expectations. By engaging in this exercise, you may be able to help your children see the value of pursuing higher education. This could be vocational, by the way. There are many tech jobs, for example, that can be high-paying but that may not require four years of college.
Your children are not thinking within the construct that guided you when you were growing up. You all may need to think outside the box in order to figure out a path toward stability and success. Encourage them, but don’t browbeat them.