It would appear that parents are getting more liberal about allowing their children follow their passion and choose careers that make them happy as against more traditional career paths. However, judging by the number of times the issue of children being scared to broach the issue of the career they’d really like to pursue comes up, it’s clear that this is still a sore point.
We get so many variations of this issue when we conduct our anonymous WWWOPK (What We Wish Our Parents Knew) survey – I want to be a model – not a lawyer; I want to be a footballer…Makeup Artist; I want to go to acting school; be a Mixologist…Comedian…Poet… Blogger….Vlogger…YouTuber…
Parents by virtue of their experience and understanding how the real world works, know that you need money to survive. This is why generally, parents tend to steer their children in the direction of careers that they believe would afford their children a fairly decent life. A close second influencer of preferred vocation from the perspective of parents would be an honorable and decent job.
The story is a bit different from the child’s perspective. A survey carried out in the UK for children ages 6 – 17 showed that young people today desire careers that will give them creativity, fame, and self-expression. Money, interestingly, was not a chief motivating factor, coming in at number four. (source: www.thesun.co.uk). This may not be unrelated to the fact that children have virtually all their needs met by their parents. They, therefore, do not fully comprehend how much they need to live the kind of life they have been enjoying. With the preponderance of reality TV shows, it’s also easy for our children to confuse the “show” with reality. This is why it’s important that we help them see the side of the story they are often not shown – where thousands of “wannabes” are yet to get the big break and really struggling to survive.
In this video, I share a few tips on having the conversation if and when your child says to you “I want to pursue my DJ business rather than go to Law school”.
I’d like to leave you with some food for thought. You know that restaurant you like to visit every now and again, or that show you watch that gives you the much needed comic relief after a stressful day? Remember all the compliments you get when you’ve just had your makeup done? Now imagine if every parent discouraged their children from being actors/actresses; chefs; makeup artists; comedians; footballers… you get the picture!
At the end of the day, it important to strike a balance. Don’t discourage your child from pursuing a passion especially if they are really talented. Give them your support but also let them know how the real world works and encourage them to do what they must to be able to sustain themselves financially and make a positive impact in whatever society they find themselves in.
This blog is powered by RAVE Et Al (RAVE) a social enterprise that partners with parents, schools, government & other stakeholders to provide relevant capacity building programs for children/teens and young adults (ages 8 and above) in the area of values, life skills & digital citizenship education.
As the pioneer DQ Ambassador in Nigeria (first in Africa) and a member of the DQ Coalition, RAVE Et Al is championing the #DQEveryChild initiative in Nigeria. Our mission is to enhance our children’s Digital Intelligence Quotient (DQ) and set a global standard of digital citizenship for all children around the world.