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Do not impose Career Choices on your Child

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By Ravi Singh Negi

ICSE and ISC board exams results for classes X and XII have been declared and other boards will soon follow suit. Most of the students passing class XII choose career paths depending on the subjects they studied. However, sometimes, when students do not feel much comfortable, science students have the option to change their streams in graduation and there is no harm in doing that. But for X pass students, it is a crucial time for selection of subjects. Although choice of subjects should be done while passing class VIII but Xth class is not too late. Parents want their children to be successful in life and also have very high expectations of them. They want to fulfill their dreams through their children. The want that, what they could not achieve in their lives, their children should. Such thinking ruins the career of many children in our country, where competition for college and careers after classes X or XII is much keener and parents have a much stronger degree of control over their children’s choices. Parents have a responsibility to assist and mentor children in making wise career choices. Unfortunately, many parents place a lot of pressure on students’ career options to the point that they impose these on their children. Parents go to this extreme with the best of intentions — they want their children to be successful. What they fail to understand is that their children might have different interests and values. The parent that pushes his or her child into a particular college and a career of their own choice may not recognise the true interest of the child. Parents may be academically highly qualified in their respective fields but all parents may not be psychologists and academic or career experts to judge the interests, aptitude and potential of their child. If children choose a career according to the wishes of their parents, they will have a boring academic life and suffer lack of interest, ultimately resulting in poor grades and possibly a less successful future, which sometimes leads the children to depression.

Children have the right to choose their own careers and to live their dreams. Students have a unique set of strengths, skills and weaknesses. They alone know their interests and abilities better than anyone else. So, what they like and can do well may be different from their friends. There is every possibility that they do well in the subjects they love. Thus, it makes perfect sense to choose the stream that offers subjects they love. Once the field has been identified by the student, he or she would be ready to put in all the effort and hard work. Thereby excelling in the same and achieve all the career success desired.

But at this juncture, students are confused and pressurised. They may take wrong decisions under pressure and peer group influence. It is high time for parents to support and guide their children in choosing their subjects, keeping the child’s interests and aptitudes in mind. If they still have difficulty choosing the right course, college or career, they should not hesitate to take the help of experts like academic or career counsellors.