If you have been through the career choosing phase, you would be able to recall the chaos and anxiety clouding your life at that point. By your life, I also mean your parents’ lives because by society standards, the lives of our parents are hugely defined by how their children turn out to be. Moreover, our parents take it literally as well. They scrutinize and take care of each and every detail that constitutes our day to day life as they want the best for their children. So its only obvious that the career we choose either first passes through their check post and gets approved or comes gift wrapped from them.
In a global survey conducted by HSBC Retail Banking and Wealth Management, 51% of the Indian parents surveyed said career success was the most important goal for their children, out-scoring the 49% of parents who preferred a happy life for their children. It also is the second highest percentage recorded across various countries.
The survey also reported that Indian parents are twice as likely as the average to want their children to go into a job in computer science. No surprises there!
Why Let Children Make Their Own Choices
When the children become adolescents, they constantly crave for independence, self-expression, approval and recognition. While trying to take decisions for them might still seem viable to a lot of parents, it is always preferable to indulge them in discussions and reason out different possibilities with them. When parents involve children in discussions, it not only gives them a chance to express themselves but also cultivates logic and a sense of responsibility in them. On the other hand if decisions are imposed on young people, they tend to become irresponsible and start second guessing themselves.
As far as career decisions are concerned, they have long-lasting implications. Even if children walk the line their parents ask them to, they often find themselves lost and uninspired later in their careers. The leading suicide rates among students across the country is a wake up call to the parents who choose and supervise their children’s careers.
How Involved Should Parents Be?
It is necessary for the parents to maintain a healthy balance between imposition and involvement . Here is how you could get positively involved with your child’s career decisions:
- First and foremost, leave behind your notions of “a safe career” you want your child to pursue. There is no way your child will enjoy coding if his heart and mind is captivated with composing songs. He very well might not have the aptitude for coding in the first place.
- Discarding a career option entirely only because you know very little about them or because the society deems it unconventional is not fair to your child. If you have inhibitions regarding his career choice, weigh your child’s skills and motivations against the chosen career aspects and be reasonable while discussing it with him.
- Discuss the career options your child is considering for himself and try to find out what he already knows about them. You could get involved by gathering first-hand information from professionals from the same fields to help him make better choices.
- Try to encourage your child to attend workshops and events related to the fields he wants to explore. Encouraging him to learn more about the career aspects will
- It is time for you, as a parent, to understand that you cannot always shield your child and the notion of a secure job or career is a myth. So let him explore his career options. The bottom line is, he should not regret not following his dreams while he could.
Being supported and encouraged by parents to reach out for your dreams is the best gift you could ever wish for. As a child, one would always look up on his parents for guidance, support and wisdom. So it becomes important for the parents to not be cloud their judgement by their own expectations and ambitions for the child, society’s conventions but instead give more importance to aspirations and happiness of their child.
If you are a parent, we would love to know how you are dealing with your child making career choices. Share your story in comments below.