So, what do you expect from your kid?
What do you really expect the future will look like?
Do you expect them to live with you until they are 30?
Do you expect they will be a doctor or go to a particular college?
Do you expect they will pay for college or get a scholarship?
How would you define a “successful career”?
What are your expectations about how their decisions will affect your own future?
How do you expect them to make these decisions for the future?
How do you expect to influence those decisions?
The answers to these questions may or may not even be thoughts you are conscious of. You may have biases that may be hiding behind your dreams and expectations for your student. Biases impact our decisions at every turn. In fact, sometimes we see things as WE are, not as they REALLY are.
These are cognitive biases, or systematic errors in thinking and judgment – often based out of memories or experiences we’ve had. While they aren’t all negative, a lack of awareness about them can lead to negative and unintentional consequences. Our biases can be silly or significant. They can be as little as wanting our kid to choose a Division I school because we love sports to as big as a disregard for non-4-year colleges, vocational, and “blue collar” options because it’s not what you want.
Bias’ make us prejudiced in favor of or against a thing, person, or group compared to another. A lot of times we see this expressed as partiality or favoritism, but can also be expressed as concentration towards one goal or path.
Consider the subconscious and conscious expectations you have for your student and their future! It helps to define your dreams that are interwoven with expectation and even subtle bias, and then consider the process ahead.