Highly Career Oriented Parents are a boon or bane to their children?

Career oriented parents maybe considered as good role models for their children but sometimes can be disastrous if children have their own dreams to fulfill or limitations in their abilities. Often, children are brought to clinical attention for psychological evaluation with stress related to perceived expectations even though not obviously spoken by or demanded by their parents. Unspoken influences by parents seem to bother children especially in the teenage group. Often, parents talk to their friends about their children (in the presence of the child) as to how he/she stood first in a game/academic performance, indirectly suggesting the child that he/she will be appreciated when in limelight. The growing teenager with an unfolding temperament of wnating to be accepted and appreciated may be sensitive to such statements. Often, conversations between adults focus on “how many children do you have, what do they do, which school they are in” without any malicious intent but possibly leading to unforeseen consequences. Parents may also consider their children spending time with their friends without engaging in any meaningful “academic” or “competitive activity” as a waste of time or being aimless.

Can parents recognize this change in their child (a drop in motivation) with their own stress, the limited time spent with children, lack of common routine with time shared together? Sometime of a day or at least a day in a week should be set aside for everyone to share their day. This could be structured or unstructured with the focus on sharing both the perceived gains or good stuff as well as the perceived pains or bad stuff.  These sessions may also help to understand specific needs of children. The focus of such sessions is to share and listen and not to sermonize or be judgmental thus encouraging children to feel free to open up about their experiences.

There is a need for parents to recognize that career is important but it alone does not make their child a well groomed or well adjusted personality in future.  Spending quality time together even if it is just talking is a great stress buster for children, quality time will imply that one parents do not multitask during this time period.

Often, parents want children to follow their own career paths so that a separate foundation for career need not be laid, children can just piggy back onto their parents career. Although the intention is often to have their children settle faster and not have to go through the same growing pains, this may sometimes be at the cost of the child’s own dreams and their abilities or limitations.

Success is often a perceptional point of view that will vary with each individual. People can be successful in one aspect of life and be considered as failures in another aspect of life. Showing sensitivity towards your child’s dreams and aspirations may help them reach their full potential and make them a happy person.

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