1. You assume you know what your child wants. You think, I bet he'd like this shirt; I'll buy it. Or, He'll/She'll want to take this class for sure, so I'll sign him/her up. "Taking for granted that you know what your child want without asking can make him/her feel like they have not say in what they do,: says Tanya Altmann, MD, a clinical professor of pediatrics at UCLA. Share things you both enjoy by watching football, going to museums, playing tennis, whatever. Just ask first.
2. You dream for your child. Your child is a computer whiz, just like you, so you're already imagining their career. Reality check: Don't assume your know what your child wants to be when they grow up. They may turn out to be a composer, not a computer programmer or discover a passion you've never imagined. "Kids need the space to explore what they like," says parenting educator Betsy Brown Braun. "Part of a child's job is to grow, separate and make their own way in the world."
3. You fight a lot. "Often the child who's most like you is the one you spar with," says Brown Braun. "When you argue with a child who's like you, you may be fighting against things you don't like in yourself. Recognize and acknowledge that, then use your experience to help your child. If they see him/her struggling with something you also struggle with, say something like "You and I are a lot alike. This was always hard for me, but this strategy helped me. Maybe it will help you, too."