Dear Dr.G.,

My teenage daughter has recently told me that she only wishes to become a wife and mother, and has no ambition of going to college anymore. This is so shocking to me because I am an avid feminist, and my daughter has always talked about a career. Should I support her decision, or convince her otherwise.

A Feminist Mother,

Dear Mother,

I have both questions and suggestions for you. First, I wonder if your daughter knows that going to college and being a housewife are not mutually exclusive. Many housewives have gone to college. Second, there is nothing inherently wrong with being a housewife. Many mothers choose this lifestyle because they want to be home to raise their kids. Other women can't stay at home given the cost of living AND sending their kids to college. Yet others prefer to focus on their careers. 

Having said this-let's get back to discussing your daughter.
She may be very aware of your feminist attitudes and may simply be trying to ruffle your feathers. If so, then she is clearly succeeding.

She is also a teenager and keep in mind that they tend to change their minds frequently.Has she changed her mind frequently? Is it possible that she may be glamorizing the role of the housewife, be afraid of leaving home and going to college, or be struggling at school and feel that she won't be successful at college.

My suggestion is to neither support nor try to convince her of these decisions at this point in time. Instead, talk to her calmly and nonjudgmentally about her thoughts and expectations about college and being a housewife. My guess is that you will learn a lot about what is going on in her mind and in her life and she will eventually make a decision that is right for her.

Good Luck,

Dr. G.

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