Wednesday 4 November 2015


It's problem page time again on DREAMCATCHER, and reader Anisha has a problem for Coco Tanberry to unravel… will you agree with Coco's solutions?

Anisha says:
I have had a dream ever since I watched the Disney movie, Camp Rock, that I would like to be a singer/ songwriter one day just like Demi Lovato. I absolutely love music, but my dream is not going to happen. My family are very religious and have certain views on what I am allowed or not allowed to do. I do not have the same views as them and I have started to question their beliefs, but no matter how hard I try to convince myself I don't believe it. When I have my headphones in my parents get annoyed because they think I listen to music too much. I would love to be able to play a musical instrument but my parents will not allow it. I don't know what to do.

Coco says:
I could tell you how unfair this is, but that's not going to help… you have a problem and you need practical answers. Firstly, I understand your passion 100% because it is how I feel myself about animals and saving the world. It doesn't matter if others don't get it, that passion is in me and I will never let go of it. So please do hold onto your dream, it will give you determination and keep you strong. How can you get more involved in music? School may be one way. Ask your music teacher if there is any way you can learn an instrument informally, or join a singing group, or get involved in a musical production. Your music teacher could be your greatest ally in this, telling your parents that you are talented and encouraging them to relax their rules a little. Alternatively, ask musical friends if they can help you to learn some guitar chords… they may enjoy helping you to learn, and once you've begun, a lot can be learned from books or online. My family don't have a strong religion, so I can only imagine how hard it must be for you to question the beliefs you have grown up with. All I can say is that there may be a way to follow your religion still, but in a slightly different way to your parents. I don't know of any religion which says that music is forbidden, but many religions do develop ultra-strict rules that have little to do with the actual things set down in their holy books. I say that if god made humans to have talents like singing and music, we should be able to use those talents… to hide them is a waste of our god-given talents. Talk to a trusted guidance teacher at school or perhaps a sympathetic relative and try to get some support on this. Life may be hard now, but you DO have choices, and once you are older you will have more chance to build the kind of life YOU want, rather than follow the rules your parents have set down. I know this is not easy, but stay strong. You are just being true to yourself… I would find it hard to respect any religion that told me that was wrong. Good luck.

Cathy says:
Religious and cultural expectations can be very, very hard to reconcile with 21st century western life. Anisha's parents may not approve of her dream to be a pop star, but to stop her from learning music at all is very harsh… there are many careers in music that could offer her a happy, satisfying future. I agree that talking to a trusted teacher may help here… Anisha needs help and support. Do YOU agree with Coco's advice? Could YOU go against your parents' wishes? COMMENT BELOW to have your say...


  1. thank you i will follow Coco's advice

  2. My parents don't exactly have strong views on my dream career as a songwriter, although my dad does like to joke about me becoming a journalist, which is what I wanted do to at least six years ago! I disagree with my dad on matters of worldview and politics; he's a fervently intolerant Tory, and I'm a Corbynite! We're always debating and nagging each other on whatever came up in the news that week. However, although I don't like some of the things my dad does and thinks, I could never really dislike him; he's family, after all. So he respects my opinion and I respect his, even though I think he's wrong. Disagreeing with your parents and realising they're not perfect is part of being a teenager, I suppose, but confidence in your beliefs and mutual respect are needed to keep everything afloat.

  3. My parents don't exactly support me when it comes to my favorite subjects such as drama, dance and art. They want me to do something stable and practical. I don't agree though I still respect their views. I'm not sure what I'm going to do!!!!

    1. you should do what you want to do ask yourself if money was no object what would you like to do? it's your life not theirs try to help them understand that

  4. My family is religious and although I don't know what your religion is. I have to ponder the question: Don't most religions in some form use music as a way of worship or as a way of getting other people to come together and celebrate?
    My religion as an example: At a gathering with others we sing a hymn before someone gives a message. This is something everyone enjoys doing and usually sets a mood.
    Is it not possible that there is some way that music is involved with yours?



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