Do Parentals Pressure Career Choices?

Is it true that parents put more pressure on their child when picking a career?


artwork by Alyssa Bailey

There are many factors that influence parents imput in a child's career choice such as culture and a parents relationship with a child

The Ledger Editorial Board

“What do you want to do with the rest of your life? Is this something you actually want to pursue? There’s over a million people going after the same career and there’s only a 1% chance that anyone makes it.”

These are all common questions that parents ask their child.

It’s not to necessarily make them feel bad about what they want to become when their older but there’s a lot of pressure riding on it. Picking a career choice is stressful enough and with parentals looking over our every shoulder, there’s not much free range to choose what the child really want to do.

Following a career path is the foundation of what career the child will choose but when they are told to be something that their not, or don’t want to become, there’s no use in enjoying what the future lies ahead. It’s truly about the choices the child makes.

There are many factors that go into why parents interject with their kids career.

“Some factors that can influence trajectories include the family’s culture, their income and family resources, and the quality of the parent-child relationship,” said psychologist George Holden at Southern Methodist University in Dallas..

One of the biggest influences that come from parents is how a child is raised. Family values and culture is a crucial aspect when a child is developing. Kids growing into adolescence often come to their parents for advice and feel that their parents will support them. However, when teens start to distance themselves from their parents, parents tend to be more pushy and controlling. It’s not out of despite but love. There is a big difference between being supportive and being pushy. It revolves around the idea of nature v. nurture.

Parentals initiate their child’s life in the beginning, whether that includes sports, socializing and school. As their child becomes independent, parents react to their day-to-day decision making. This either sparks pride in parents or disappointment, which further leads to individuality from parents. Not all parents take this well and when their child decides they want to go to college, their controlling intentions leads to additional pressure when choosing a college, often a four-year college.

Depending on the relationship between a parent and a child, it can also influence the amount of pressure on a career choice. To have a close relationship with your parent is worthwhile, but even when the relationship is significant, parents typically expect more from their child, career wise, and sometimes, even hope their child will follow in their footsteps. However, that’s not always the case.

Even parent-child relationships that are rocky still differ in career choices. Frequently, the parent and child don’t consider each other’s feelings when deciding upon an occupation. It’s important to discuss and explain where both sides come from, but usually there’s not always the same amount of communication coming from both parties.

A parent’s approach should be to inspire their teens to explore a diverse set of potential occupations or to stick to a path that makes them happy with their life. Parents may interject their opinion about a career choice, but ultimately it is a child’s decision. It’s normal to stray away from what parents expect from you in order to make yourself content in the occupation that you desire. Don’t be afraid to speak up about what you want because in the end, it’s your life and it’s your decisions.