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PARENTS AND CHILDREN’S CHOICES: THE GOOD, BAD AND UGLY

PARENTS AND CHILDREN’S CHOICES: THE GOOD, BAD AND UGLY


In times past, this issue would not have been one worthy of discourse. This was because back then, a lot of children’s choices, ranging from their career choices to their marital choices were determined unilaterally by their parents. Back then, it was clear that a lady coming from a rich home would definitely get married to a boy from a wealthier family; boys from rich families already knew that their chosen career path had to either be medicine, law or engineering as these were regarded as the courses meant for the rich.
However, as times have changed, it is pertinent for us to examine if truly parents’ choices for their children is good or bad?
To begin with, it is clear that almost every parent wants the best for their kids. This is what is likely to inform the decision of parents to make the unilateral choice of a career or a life partner as they feel that these choices will make their children have a smooth sail in life. In some cases, as with career choices, some parents make the choice of their child’s career because they once aspired to study those courses or pursue that career but were not able to do so; by default, they feel that they will be fulfilled if their children pursue that career; In some rather bizarre circumstances, some parents make these decisions to boost their business. As good and noble as the intentions of parents are in making these decisions, we have to ask ourselves; what if the person does not want the other person as their life partner? What if that child/ward has another career interest apart from what the parents want; would it be appropriate to coerce such child.
We many well think that these practices are archaic and have dissipated with the olden days/ However, as sad as it is, there are still some families today who insist and make it imperative that their child or ward make certain career or marital choices. What has this resulted into? This has resulted in a lot of broken marriages because the children barely know themselves; the choice is already made for them and they dare not decline lest they are ostracized for the family. On the part of career, it has led to many unfulfilled professionals in the labor market. Fine, these children eventually turn out to be doctors, lawyers, engineers and so on, they tend to be less productive as they do not have passion for what they are doing. A classic example of this is someone like Afrobeat Legend; Fela Anikulapo Kuti who was sent to study medicine abroad but dropped it for music.
Not to bore the reader, what then is the solution to this menace? The solution is that as a parent., you don’t need to force your child to make any choice. Primarily, the role of parent is a supervisory and guiding role in which you are meant to guide your child in the right way to go; note, not coerce! You notice that your son or daughter has interest in photography, has interests in football, music; the best thing will be to guide that child while stressing the importance of education. You don’t need to turn Craig, Akin, Taylor and Sumbo into a fulfilment package to fulfill your aborted dreams.
Lastly, I leave you with this, Love what you do and work will become play.

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