What causes many parents to devalue their children's individuality, constantly emphasizing that
they should be like everyone else?
I love my son's individuality. I have always encouraged what is special about him. I do know there are parents who push their children to fit a mold, but I don't think that's right. I know one guy who, when he was in a spelling bee in grade school and came in second he started to cry because he knew his parents would be mad he didn't get 1st. When he grew up he became a lawyer for his parents and was perfectly miserable. His whole life was what his parents wanted, not what he wanted. I would rather my son be a happy mechanic than a miserable doctor. I was told by a teacher that the secret of life is to have a job that makes you happy. That way you wake up and look foreword to each day.
The problem with most parents they often think they know what is best for their children what they couldn't have during their generation that children now can makes most parents feel the need to interfere in their children's lives and try to force kids to fulfill their mistakes. No child should feel pressured into decision making a child should be free to think and decide for him or herself. Parents should guide their children rather than push them to achieve what they couldn't achieve.
This question is more complicated than it seems and a very good question. There is a very fine line a person has to walk on this matter when raising a child. Going too far with devaluing individuality leaves a child extremely vulnerable to getting mixed up with the wrong crowd. They would tend to be a follower rather than a leader. This could result in them settling to be part of the status quo and selling themselves short in life.
On the other hand, stressing individuality too much can result in a child that feels that they don't fit in anywhere or with any group at all. Or they could feel as though they are better or worse than a group or groups. Feeling too individualized, can result in the child becoming isolated and alone.
They need to learn both. They need to be taught that they can be part of the group without getting lost in the crowd.
Addressing other's answers, as a child or young adult, we can make suggestions to our children. We can do that, if our relationship is right, by objectively making the child aware of their strengths and weaknesses. We can give them all the information we have at our disposal, but let them know the final decisions are up to them. What is extremely important in letting them know that we have complete confidence and respect for their decision making and will support them, even if it's not exactly what we as parents want. There is a very good chance that your suggestions will carry a lot more weight if the child knows you are putting their dreams ahead of your own.
Parents should help their child make decisions for their well-being and future, but not to the point where they are running their child's life. They must respect the opinion and decisions the child makes, especially as they enter adulthood. Some parents may not be satisfied with their own life, and want to impose that on their child, as if they are getting a second chance to prove an accomplishment. Even successful parents can have problems or situations we are not aware of, that cause them to react this way. Another reason is that parents are totally against the behavior, choices, and life-style their child has chosen and want to change them. This can only be accomplished by being understanding, patient and loving to their child. Constantly emphasizing inadequacies, in their opinion, only alienates the child from the parent.
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