Parental Pressure Affecting Career Choices

Parental Pressure Affecting Career Choices

Alison Miller , Staff Writer

Many parents put pressure on their high school student that has a substantial influence on their career paths. Parents all over the world project their personal dreams onto their children, whether it’s through sports, school, or an extracurricular activity. 

To start, almost every child has a mental need to fulfill their parents’ expectations of their life. This gives parents a lot of freedom to manipulate their kids into whatever they see best fit for their child. For example, a lot of pro-athletes’ children end up playing sports throughout their childhood and high school and end up committing to a college to play their sport. But, it’s like an unwritten rule or legacy that their kids must go Division-I, or reach the highest level of their sport or activity possible. This is the same for children of politics or even the average family. In 1995, Chance Clutter, in the K-State Research Exchange, compiled a research paper on this topic. He states, “From a family therapy perspective when an adolescent or young adult is in the process of differentiation—the ability of a person to maintain their own sense of self while remaining emotionally connected to the family along with a family‘s aspirations for their child play a significant role on how the client makes decisions.”

There is also a lot of pressure from parent to child to make a lot of money in their lifetime. In some cases, this is to get the child to care for the parent when they become very elderly, or so the child can help financially support the parent in the future. 

Additionally, parents have a lot of control over their kids’ life up until college. Whether this is in the classroom, or out of the classroom. Parents get to know their children’s teachers fairly well, and they are their child’s number one caregiver until college. Parents buy food, clothes, provide shelter, essentially every basic need, and more. This is also another tactic parents use to get their child to follow in their footsteps or exceed a dream they once had. The parent could threaten taking away specific privileges or items in their child’s life or threaten to stop paying for something the child enjoys, like a sport or club, if their child doesn’t comply with standards they must meet in college or high school. 

Some may say that influencing children is a parent’s job. However, parents should not “baby” or ultimately decide what their child does with their life. Children become adults at some point and should be free to make their own decisions, without having to regard what their parents think of it. 

Thus, parents heavily influence their childrens’ occupational paths. Teenagers should be able to think into the future, decide what they want to do, and pick what classes they want to take in high school to help them with the career path that they choose themselves.