In the past few days, I have been talking to people who seem to think it is the a good thing for a parent to push a child into a career choice that is not necessarily preferred by the kid, but by the parent.
You know those parents…the ones that want their kids to be a top lawyer or top doctor. They will do anything to make that happen and they really believe that they are doing it for the benefit of the child. After all, the child does not have the experience in life to really understand what he/she wants to do with it. What is a parent there for if not to guide the child in the right direction?
I get the argument, but my question is….What if the parent is wrong? What if the kid ends up being miserable as a top physician or hates being a lawyer. You might say that nobody likes their job, but being a professional carries security, prestige and respect – and not many other career paths can offer all three vital components….and, besides, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger….
As an adult who has experienced how tough life can be between romance, parenthood, unwanted vices, personal appearance, social issues and many others life issues that I cannot think of off the top of my head….why would it be necessary to add career to that list?
You might say that the security, prestige and respect that comes with that career will eliminate most of life’s tough issues….but would that be true?
Have you never heard of an unhappy lawyer? There never existed in the history of mankind a depressed doctor? I know this might sound like a stupid argument, but I am hard pressed to find a smart argument for pushing your kids into your career choice.
We all want the best for our kids, this I don’t deny. However, sometimes what we think is the best for our kids -simply is not. We would not know that until its too late though.
My grandmother was a survivor of the Holocaust and was one of these parents. My mother did not listen to her “guidance” and left home early and eloped with my father. But, my uncle was not so lucky. He wanted to make my grandmother proud so he his passed the CPA exam and worked hard to climb the ladder of success to pretty much the top and stayed there until……my grandmother died.
In case he ever reads this, I don’t want to talk about the downside of making choices based on the approval of others – especially your parents, as opposed to following your heart for yourself…but let’s just say that he is not on top of the social ladder anymore.
Yes, it may be scary to leave the choices up to your just barely young adult, but there is a time in all of our lives that we have to learn responsibility for ourselves. We all have to learn how to make our own choices and pay consequences for our mistakes as well as take pride in our own achievements. At some point we have to cut the umbilical cord.
We also have to really think about why we want what we want for our children. We must ask ourselves a very important question; do we want them to do what we say for their benefit…..or for ours?
After all, there is a pride that comes with saying “meet my son…… the brain surgeon”.
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