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Let Your Child Follow Their Heart

Updated on August 9, 2020

Once the popular Indian Actress, Priyanka Chopra said “I’ve built a life I don’t need a vacation from.”
How many of us have actually built a life that we don’t need a vacation from? A very few people who had followed their heart. We were all taught to follow our hearts when we were young but the reality is wholly different, some of us are living a life that our parents have compelled us to choose and the parents claim that they are doing this out of affection, they want us to be successful. But is it really out of love? Or is it possessiveness? Now, what is success? success is neither your social status nor your financial status. Success is when you achieve something that you always wanted to achieve or something that make you ecstatically happy. For a 1-year-old child, success is his first baby steps. In short, success is happiness. Success can vary widely from person to person. So when you urge your child to take up a career that he or she doesn’t have set their heart on, it’s not going to make them happy but they are going to struggle for rest of their life tuning to a career that they haven’t dreamt of, doing it without passion, doing it with a plethora of complaints, sulking all day thinking of their dreams that they have relinquished for your happiness.

A study conducted to assess the stress level among dental school students (in Indian scenario) by Pradeep S, Anmol Mathur, Rahul Gupta, and Shikha Chaudary, says that students forced by parents had more perception of stress (69%).

According to the study conducted by Shashidhar Acharya to identify the factors affecting stress among Indian students, the majority of medical students were forced to enter into the medical field due to the parental pressure and showed greater stress than those joined of their own. Most of the student’s first choice of admission was some other field. Parents impose their interests on children without considering their skills or interest. They often forget that their children are also individuals who have got their own passion and aspiration.

Ashura Ramadhan is one of the hundreds of children who were forced to take up a career that they were not passionate about. She shared her experiencep with the editor of ‘The Citizen’.
“My parents insisted that I should study nursing. I told them that wasn’t the career that I wanted to pursue but they insisted on their choice. My ambition was to be a Fashion Designer but my mother told me if I didn’t go for the nursing course then no one will pay for my school fees. My parents are not aware that what they did will hurt me for the rest of my life. I’ve worked as a nurse for almost six years but I do not enjoy it at all.” Ashura says.

According to Brenda Ngasaru, music teacher from TSRCA (an organization that works with schools and social institutions to assist the children in shaping a better future for themselves), parents are blind-sighted by quantifying success in monetary terms which then leads to imposing career paths that will potentially be more rewarding in monetary terms. Success is subjective in terms of its measurement and it is immensely influenced by the social class. Success is taking what you have and multiplying it to form a better version of yourself.
“As an educator, I would personally advise parents to rethink the career choices they impose on their children and avoid their opinions of the possible monetary output of a career to be GPS for their child’s future”, says Brenda.
According to a comprehensive study by Middleton and Loughead (3) in 1993, there are three kinds of parents when it comes to career advice for adolescents, and they evoke three different responses.
There are parents who have a positive involvement with their children’s career. They are enthusiastic about encouraging their children to explore different options and interests, they are emotionally and verbally supportive of the child’s career goals and they do everything they can to help their children achieve career success in their chosen field.
Then there are non-supportive parents who really don’t understand what they can do to help and have no desire to get involved.
The most difficult situation for the child, however, is when they have a negatively involved parent. These parents push their children down career paths of their own choosing and may belittle the child’s choices and impede their progress if the child and the parent have opposing ideas. This leads to anxiety and resentment on the part of the children and often insecurity that they can achieve the career they really want.
Sometimes children in these negative situations are perceived as having difficulty making a career decision. In reality, they are loath to decide because they are having trouble separating their parents’ expectations from their own goals.
Other negative forces on children’s career choices come from parents who are overly involved, or overly concerned.

How to Help Your Child Choose the Right Career?
1. Avoid treating your child as an extension of you:
Your child is an individual with his or her own ambitions. Your child might not be as interested as you about a certain job.
2. Help them to discover their strengths and passions:
Help them out through their decision-making process and exhort them to visit a career counselor who can help them better in identifying the career that suits their personality. Be patient with your child. Identifying what they really like can be a long process of self-discovery and experimentation, so keep encouraging your child.
3. Don’t list only careers that you know:
You may not be aware of the entire universe of available jobs, particularly those that didn’t exist when you started your own career. That’s another reason to refrain from naming specific careers.
4. Set a great example:
Your child watches your every move, so work on being a great example of doing work you enjoy. When your child sees you building a career you really love, they will know that it’s possible for them to also find and do work they love, so seek what lights you up and do more of what you love and less of the unimportant junk.,

Let your child dream endlessly, never try to limit their dreams. Parents who force careers to their children, I just want you to know that every career has its own dignity, and most of the time they won’t bloom in the profession that they aren’t passionate about. Always direct them to choose a career of their interest rather than compelling them to choose a particular career. Don’t be an acquisitive person who instructs children that success is money. Tell your children that life is not a rivalry and they don’t have to surpass anyone to become successful.

Huge respect to all the young folks out there who gave up their dreams just to appease your family and at the same time I just want you to know that It’s never too late to follow your heart.
“All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them”.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Jilsha Mohammed Ali


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