Should parents decide which career their children will pursue? As a parent myself, I feel I am more qualified to answer this question than most. I’ve had to make countless decisions for my four-year-old, whether it is about what he eats for breakfast or what he wears for school. These choices may seem trivial, but they are not. As a parent, you have the ability to shape your child from a young age. The question should be more like; how do you decide?
Should parents decide which career their children will pursue? I’m sure this question has crossed your mind at one point or another – if not, read the question again. The answer can seem quite simple and straightforward, however, it is more complex than you may realize.
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Hands up if you were told exactly what to study at university, and let me guess… you were a lot more likely to listen to your parent’s advice when choosing your degree subject. I’m guilty of this. My Dad is a geography teacher, so he suggested that I study geography. And even now, with 5 years under my belt at college, I’m still not sure if I made the right decision or not. Only time will tell. In the world we live in today, with technology changing rapidly every day, it can be difficult to know which industries will be future-proof. So as parents, should we decide what our children study? At Bright Blog Writers, we’ve put together a list of various online business topics and discussed whether or not parents should decide which career their children will pursue. Our questions included: Should we decide what career path our child will go down?
Whether you look down on your parents for their poor career choices or not, you have to agree that the decision about what a person is going to spend their time doing for the majority of their lives is no small thing to live with. This week I received an email from a reader asking me if parents should decide which careers their children are going to pursue. Essentially, should kids just be told decided which subject they’re interested in when they go to college or do they have a responsibility themselves to take charge and learn everything they can when it comes to finding the right career?
There are many cases of parents deciding which career their children should pursue. What if your son loves football but his father wants him to be a doctor? Or if your daughter loves singing but her mother wants her to be a lawyer? When it comes to choosing which career you want to pursue, how can you decide what’s best for you?
Truly, there is no one that knows what will be the best decision for you. You can try and follow your dreams but the reality is that it takes hard work and dedication to achieve those dreams. It’s not just going to come easily. Also, I think that your family has the right say in this because, at the end of the day, they are the ones supporting you on your journey.
It is important to balance listening to yourself and listening to others. If you want to be a doctor but your parents think it’s too risky then maybe listen to them. You don’t always have to do or be what you want. That’s why it’s always great to communicate with those around you and respect their wishes as well as yours.
I first became interested in the question of whether parents should help their children decide on a career when I was an exchange student in Norway. That’s when I noticed that an unusually high number of my classmates’ parents had chosen their career paths for them.
The question is, of course, not only relevant to Norway. In a recent survey conducted by Harris Interactive, commissioned by The Wall Street Journal, it was found that a significant minority of American parents help make their children’s professional decisions: 17% assist their children with choosing a major, 14% help them pick a career and 13% give their children advice on which employer to work for.
Whether they like it or not, children are influenced by their parents’ expectations, both in terms of what they learn and what they do with their lives.
Tailored education may not always put children on the right path. Of course, if parents can afford to put their child through a prestigious university without worrying about the cost, then more power to them if they want to give their child a higher chance at success.
But there’s nothing wrong with letting your child explore different career paths and make their own decisions as an adult once they have the skills and knowledge to do so.
In fact, there are many students who go to college or university, study something that their parents wanted them to be interested in and then spend the rest of their lives regretting it. It may be difficult for some parents to let go for fear of disappointing them, but this is a risk worth taking for your child’s happiness.
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