08 Mar 2018


Should parents determine the choice of their children’s career? This issue has been quite controversial and some parents agreed on being the sole determinant of their child’s career, others said otherwise.
The best gift parents can give their children is education and “Because the world is making such drastic demands upon the coming workers, every thoughtful man and woman, every teacher and reflecting parent, is planning ways to fit the children for the life and needs of this new century” says Meyer Bloomfield.
Most children must pass through the adolescent stage and it is this period they get to make their career choices. However, this is the same period they tried to develop their independence and remove all members of their family to fit into the larger world. In effect, the person would make career decisions, based on his or her own interests, research, and/or occupational goals with limited influence from others. However, this picture fails to include the notion that not every decision will happen so autonomously for the individual. In fact, even when young adults move away from home (for university or for work), but a family will likely still have a strong influence upon them on two significant life events marriage and their career (Larson, 1995).

At a point, we’ve all dreamt of being doctors, engineers, singers, engineers, models or pilot like those we’ve seen on television but had those dreams shattered along the line due to parental influence. However, some argue that a child should follow his or her dreams and not do what his or her parents say. Others are influenced indirectly by their parent’s profession that is why in Nigeria for instance, a SAN or a Lawyer wants their child to be a Lawyer and doctors likewise.

Due to parental influence some children because they will be unable to separate their emotions from the influence of others (their parents) on their own decision, may have a difficult time making career choices as they cannot separate their parent’s expectations.These conscious or unconscious thoughts then manifest themselves into battle lines where the mother supports the son in direct opposition to the father, and this creates a cross-generational disagreement in that the family.

For instance, if parents state they will only pay for college if the child goes into a certain majors (e.g. law, engineering, or medicine), if they overtly tell the child that he or she is expected to graduate with a specific degree and take a position at a bank or law firm, or if they subtly reinforce the value of certain jobs while discounting other occupations, for example, teaching profession; being a teacher is nice, but nobody wants to work or other children without pay this is one of the problems in education sector in Nigeria; instability. These are all ways in which a parent can negatively narrow their son’s or daughter’s career choices from an early age.

But if parents can refrain from choosing careers for their children, the children would end up getting a satisfactory job if not a dream job but one in which they can proudly say they are happy and satisfied doing it. Therefore, they will live a fulfilled and satisfied lives and this would positively affect other areas of the child’s family life when he/she grows. Parents should endeavor to guide and allow their children make their choices instead of imposing their own choice on them, guide them in their career choice and this will make them happy.


Article by: Busayo Tomoh

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