To be a child means you have to work in line with your parents’ expectations. It mean you have to please them, and meet some obligations they put in place. One such problem that has been encountered is when parents force their children into a certain career, even though the child may be against such choices. It is a worldwide phenomenon, but the impacts have not spared us as Africa. If anything, they are more palpable in Africa.
Other parents do not necessarily look at what their child is good at. Many a time, parents want their children to fulfill those hopes and aspirations which the parents failed to fulfill. In order for them to see these hopes and aspirations come to fruition, they just shoulder the expectations on their child or children. The child hence becomes the bearers of these expectations. The child may conform to such, whether willingly or unwillingly. But what simply happens is that the abilities of the child are brushed aside.
Many African parents would want to see their sons and daughters become engineers, lawyers, doctors and so forth. While this is not bad at all, the problem comes when the child is not in line with what the parents expect of them. This creates serious implications for the child, especially in the case where their wishes are not considered. It is also important to note that African societies tend to be conservative when it comes to these issues and the child is simply expected to take a certain desired academic route as the only way to success.
Parents simply need to appreciate the various talents that their children may have and need to take cognizance of the fact that it is not only academics that guarantee one success. Rather than choose the career path for their children, parents need to guide and counsel their children in making the right career choices based ob their innate potentials. If a child is good in sports, then they must do that. If they are good in music, then parents must help the child so that the child flourishes. If they are good in business or art, then let it be. It does not necessarily mean that the only way to success is to follow the academic path when that person has vast talent and potential that is being stifled and not being unleashed.
There have been instances where children are forced into a certain career path and the dissatisfaction that emanates from that is very huge. It breeds inner feelings of self-worthlessness at times, because in their instances the children may perform dismally in those areas which their parents choose for them. A child should be allowed to do what they deem is best for them in line with their greatest innate capabilities. Parents choosing careers for children is not correct. Of course, one may argue that they do what they want with their children, but if those children are grossly dissatisfied with what has been dictated for them then it all ceases to hold any meaning.
Parenting is hard, has been outlined beforehand, and certain expectations make it a lot more arduous. However, it is not correct to choose a career for a child against their wishes with total disregard for their abilities. African parents must learn to provide an enabling environment that helps children to pursue whatever they want as long s they feel that is the best for them.