When parents meddle in a child’s career

Every parent wants their child to be successful in life. Normally, they help them make the right choices by laying out options for them. However, even though it is great to have a parent show concern for their child’s future, should they determine their career path?
Very many students graduate with the hope of doing what they are pasionate about after. The New Times/ I. Ngoboka
Very many students graduate with the hope of doing what they are pasionate about after. The New Times/ I. Ngoboka

Every parent wants their child to be successful in life. Normally, they help them make the right choices by laying out options for them. However, even though it is great to have a parent show concern for their child’s future, should they determine their career path?

Allen Umwiza, a public relations officer, says that when she was joining university her mother insisted she studied medicine. This was because she had scored very good marks in sciences.

“I went against her wish and studied Mass Communiction, because I had deep love for media,” she says.

Today, her mother is happy because she owns a lucrative public relations firm.

“Since childhood I had always admired prominent media personalities, and I wasn’t going to let anyone stop me from becoming one,” Umwiza adds.

Norman Gabiro, a student at Mount Kenya University says that parents can only stick to the advisory role as far as career selection is concerned.

“Some parents expect their children to go for popular courses like law and engineering, yet their children have different abilities. So it’s always crucial to let them decide for themselves,” he says. Gabiro adds that however lucrative a career can be, it loses meaning if one doesn’t have the passion for it.

“It’s the reason some people do a course just to please their parents, then after dump it and pursue other things of  interest,” he declares.

He however adds that since some young people are not sure about what they want to become, it’s always important to let parents decide for them since they have more life experience.

Phillip Mutabazi, a resident of Kimironko and father of two children at university, says that sometimes its important children follow in their parent’s footsteps.

“I forced my second born to do Business Management at university because I wanted someone to run our business just in case I passed on,” he says.

Phillip Rubondo , a psychologist with Dupree, a non government organisation based in Uganda, shares that  imposing careers on children can cause poor performance in  school and the professional world.

“It’s important to involve your child in dialogue, so you find out why they don’t like a particular course, before jumping to a decision,” he says.

He adds that by parents dictating a career path, they are likely to regret incase the child doesn’t succeed and blames them.

“Parents need to first be sure that their child has the ability to do what they want them to,” he notes.

Augastine  Rwamucyo ,a retired lecturer who lives in Kanombe, says  that parents should not be disregarded during career choice.

“Parenting is an enormous responsibility. Children are like clay and parents are like a potter who gives shape to the creations.”

“For instance you cannot look on as your child is selecting a course that doesn’t have market in the country at all,” he says.

He adds that forcing a child into a particular profession causes an identity crisis, since one is not given a chance to interact with a career of their preference and the people who share it.

“Every career path has success stories, so no one should ever lie to you that only particular professions can avail you financial success,”Rwamucyo concludes.

We all want what is best for our kids but for the most fruitful results, both the child and the parent need to sit down to discuss these matters. Both can come to a fair conclusion with reasoning and logic.

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