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Why do parents always try to choose their child career path?

Lately i had a conversation with my mom and i sense that she wants me to be a medical doctor but i want to get into the fashion industry when i finish high school. Do i try to convince my mom to let me choose my career path? Or do what she wants?

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Subject: Career question for you

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Doc’s Answer

Irrefutably Khadija, your parents know you the best, have known you the longest, and have your best intentions in mind. Trust that it’s your parents dream that you have a successful and stable life and try to understand their reasoning behind the career path they want you to pursue. Maybe they believe you would be happy in the field, or that it would suit you. It might also be a dream that they wished to pursue themselves but were not able to.

COME TOGETHER
A career choice is a major decision, so take out the time to prepare and have a formal discussion with your parents. This is the time when you can see how your parents’ goals and your dreams align. Narrow down which career fields are the closest to your dreams, what the opportunities are in the respective fields and the path which would be required to reach your goal. Listen to your parent’s views and discuss with them the reason behind their choice of career option for you. In an ideal situation, you and parents would be able to narrow down certain career options that are suitable for both, but if that doesn’t happen, and you both have different views on which career would be best.

WITH A LITTLE HELP
Opting for career assessment and career counselling is an ideal choice at this step. This is because there will an unbiased person with knowledge of career options, who will be able to guide you and your parents to agree on a suitable career option. If you are worried that your parents are not taking your dreams or views seriously, a career counsellor may be able to help convince your parents. Alternatively, the career counsellor can point out any errors in your thinking and help guide you to the correct path. In addition, a counsellor can help you identify career options you may not even have considered earlier, but that may be a perfect fit for you, your abilities and aptitude.

Choosing and dreaming of a career is an exciting time in life when the possibilities seem endless. When the time comes to make a decision, it can be difficult to narrow down on one choice, especially if parents are encouraging you to pursue a different career path. Remember, your parents are not the enemy in this discussion, and they only want the best for you. If despite research and calm discussion, you are not able to make a choice, career counselling can help ensure that you make the right decision.

Don't Worry, Be Happy
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Michelle’s Answer

Hello, Khadija !

Ultimately, this is something you will make a decision on based on many conversations with your mother and exploring what you'll need to do to follow through with your mother's plan or her ideas for your future. Have a conversation with her about what goes into doing an undergraduate study and medical school, rotations, residency and specialty. Also let her know how much it will total in costs. She may be basing this on something without really knowing the financial, long term studying and the demands that will be placed upon you for undergraduate and medical school. There are just certain professions that traditionally have been considered higher status than others, but it doesn't necessarily automatically give people quality of life. So you really need to have a heart to heart with your mom and draw from her why she wants you to be a doctor when your drive is towards fashion. Something good may come out of this conversation. Your mother wants the best for you and her perception of that would be a profession that is looked up to in our culture. Remind her that being a doctor is a serious undertaking, that you're interested in fashion and ask her how would it work out if I am not motivated to undertake what she is requesting of you.

Parents have made decisions for their children's lives all of their childhood, so they also continue that, even if a person is 19 or 30 sometimes. It does come from a place of wanting the child to have the best in life. Since a career choice will affect your whole life, that must be impressed upon your mother and remind her that she has been a fabulous mother but this will be something that you will need to decide in order to be the best professional you can possibly be. Fashion may be very foreign and far removed from her and she may not understand the industry, so maybe even having conversations about fashion career possibilities would help. Let her see your strong interest in fashion. There are subtle ways to show disinterest in a medical career while emphasizing your passion for fashion.

In the meantime, do not let this interfere with you going forward now (in high school ?) with involving yourself with fashion.

I wish you all the best !
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Paul’s Answer

I think it is because our parents want us to do better than them. There is really nothing wrong with that way of thinking, because we all want those who follow us to do better than us. That is human nature.

But, there is more than one way to achieve this. One of my college professors once said, quote "for everyone, there is always, absolutely, one way to achieve success in life, and it is always wrong." I think what he meant is that there are multiple ways to achieve success. We just need to find the right path for us.

I always encourage people to achieve life goals and choose their own path in reaching them. We want to control our own destiny. This is what makes us happy. When others plan out our future, or we follow what is popular in the media, we eventually become less content and are more likely to rebel and walk away in frustration.

Your path is going to take you into the business world, in particular retail and clothing. I know people, who work for Nike and Adidas, and believe me, they make a lot more financially than physicians.

You will need to convince your family that your future education and training, will eventually achieve success.

This means developing an education and career plan, and showing them that the skills you possess, will lead to success.

If you are good, at what you are planning to do in life, the higher compensation and money will eventually follow you. That is something anyone would be proud of in life.
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Jerome’s Answer

I have 4 boys and have always wanted them to find more “success and happiness” than I have had. I try not to project on them, but sometimes I’m sure it happens. I think having honest conversations with your parents and being respectful is key, but ultimately, doing something you will find fulfilling should be everyone’s goal.
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James Constantine’s Answer

Hello Khadija,

Do I think they know far more than you do about what is good for you largely because of their seniority with due respect you have a right as an adult when you are eighteen to make decisions for yourself. It does not preclude you from active discussions with your parents but don't narrow yourself down to only receiving their advice talk to career counselors and psychologists that have survey mechanisms like the Myers Briggs personality inventory test.

Basically your parents probably think they know what's best for you better than you know it yourself but you're an evolving personality who is growing burning getting new skills you're allowed to explore you don't have to pick a college major straight away you can take a few years of sampling different studies looking at your aptitudes talking to career councils talking to me i've done more jobs than you can poke a stick at even driven taxis and been a night watchman.

Sure you parents that you're not so silly after all and you have researched the topic and looked at your skills practically to elucidate the best path of action. Some colleges and Universities have career counselors.

GOD BLESS
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Deborah’s Answer

Hello! Thank you for the question! To begin with, I am not only a parent but also a grandparent! The hardest job in the world is to be a parent. You always want the best for your child. But I have learned that what I want is something totally different than what my children and grandchildren want. Most parents have had the experience that careers have given them. Many of us had opportunities that we want to see our children have. The key to success is to find something you love to do. Surround yourself with people that support and guide you on the right path,

Going to school to become a doctor is a tall task. It takes many years in school and many long hours at work. You will sacrifice time away from family and friends. Most doctors don’t make a lot of money. It’s a long and tedious career, however it could be very rewarding. I don’t know anyone that works in the fashion world but I would guess it’s very fast-paced. I am sure you are surrounded by very creative people. It’s probably very competitive. You would have to have thick skin and be open to criticism from your peers. Any career is a learning experience. That’s how you grow personally and professionally. Set the bar high but understand that you will not always be successful. Keep moving forward!

As for convincing your Mom……that will be your biggest challenge. I would sit down with her and have an honest conversation. Talk about the pros and cons of each career. Discuss the reasons you choose one job over the other. Listen to what she has to say. She’s raised you and taken care of you. She only wants what is best for you. In the end, it’s your life. You have to make the tough decision. You have to put on the hard work. Best of luck to you!
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Racheal’s Answer

Hi Kadijah,
This is such a important question and one that is of importance to who you are, and what your value.
Considering what your mother has said, has she explained to you her reason for this career path? What does she do for a living? I ask these questions because work is a huge part of our lives and how much of work has influenced your others voice of what she deem as reason.
Secondly, what is your inspiration behind your decision, is it internal or external? No wrong answer, just considering how you come to this decision as well.
Many times emerging adults lean on their parents for financial help and sometimes that comes with stipulations, because is the parents earning a requirement at this point of your life when your career path is an option. Put in another way, is she required to pay for schooling because she is your mother, if that is the case. Otherwise, her voice should not have power on your decision unless the relationship is under a condition and that is reckoning on the side of a problem


If the latter is the case, I do think what would be good for you is to get into some career counseling to help outline how to navigate this path for you, so that no matter what happens, you'll be happy with your decision, and prepared for the consequences.

Hope this helps!
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Karin’s Answer

Hi Khadija,

There are probably a number of different reasons.

Number 1, they are worried about you and want to make sure that you build a good life, find good employment etc. As a doctor you would have a secure job and a good income.

Number 2, there is a certain prestige in being a doctor or having a doctor in the family. They want bragging rights. Also, they might not have had the educational opportunities that you have now. They want their sacrifices be worth something.

Number 3, they are your parents. For them you will always be a child. They are used to making decisions for you. They have told you all your life what to eat, when to go to bed, when to change your clothes and when to study.

But at the end of the day, it must be your decision (if possible without causing a family rift). If your heart is not in it, if you don't have a passion for it, you will not survive the 12 years of training before you are a doctor. If you are more of an artsy type who needs an outlet for your creativity and you find science rather boring or difficult, medicine is not suitable for you.

I would recommend that you get some career assessment where they assess your talents and interests and give a recommendation what kind of careers would be most suitable for you. And then you need to have a talk with your parents.

I hope this helps! Good luck!

KP
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Yaz’s Answer

Parents just want the best for their child and usually the push being a lawyer/doctor as a career choice? Why? Because it provides financial security and are usually stable fields to be in. They just want to make sure you never have to be in an uncomfortable situation because you are in a career that maybe doesn't provide as much money as one in another career. Your mom just wants the best for you, and the chances of you having security is higher in other fields. If you are passionate, and this is something your really want, then let your mom know. It will be hard, but if this is something you want, you will have to really let her know about how passionate you are.

Story : I wanted to go into art and be in art school. My parents persuaded me out of it. Was I angry at the time for my parents pushing me away from the career I thought I wanted? Yes, 100%. 10 years later, am I happy my parents did that? Yes, 100%. Why? Because I realized that although I loved art, I wouldn't be able to have a high success rate living the lifestyle I wanted as an artist as it is a highly competitive field. However, I still am able to enjoy it and do it as a hobby and I even enter local art competitions. I do this while being in a career I still enjoy and am able to have success in.
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james’s Answer

parentsr wants kids to succeed.
Thank you comment icon Hi James! Thank you for answering! Can you give Khadija some more insight or relate if you have experienced something similar? Sharyn Grose, Admin
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Patrick’s Answer

Khadija, first off, I appreciate you opening up and sharing your concerns about choosing your own career path versus following your mom's advice. This is a common issue many young people face when making career decisions. I hope the suggestions below will shed some light on your situation.

Understandably, as a parent, our main wish is for our children to succeed and avoid the hardships we might have faced. Parents often guide their children's career choices out of a desire to ensure their future security. This is influenced by societal expectations and cultural norms.

Parents might think that certain professions, like becoming a doctor, promise financial stability and respect. However, it's important to remember that everyone has their own unique talents, interests, and dreams. Your passion for fashion could be your true calling and a source of great satisfaction. Deciding whether to persuade your mom to support your career choice or to follow her advice needs thoughtful reflection.

A good starting point might be to have a sincere conversation with your mom. Share your interests, ambitions, and reasons for wanting to work in the fashion industry. Make sure to listen to her perspective on why she thinks a medical career might be better for you. This was the approach I took with my middle child when he expressed his desire to study art and become an artist. We initially couldn't understand why he would choose a career that might lead to financial struggle. This was particularly concerning considering my own background of extreme poverty and hardship. However, through open communication, we were able to reach a compromise that respected both his dreams and our concerns.

Remember, Khadija, the key is to strike a balance between following your passion and maintaining family peace. This will lead to a fulfilling career journey.
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Michele’s Answer

Just as people have different personalities, different parents have different reasons for their career recommendations (or demands).

Personally, my parents were concerned that I be able to earn enough money to support myself. In high school, I took many writing courses and they were worried that I would not be able to support myself by writing poems and short stories. I was fortunate that they didn't dictate another career, but instead got me a book about writing careers.

It can be hard to find success in the fashion industry. For your own benefit and also to help your parents, research different jobs in the fashion industry. What are some options for steady work in the fashion industry? What training and education would you need?

A medical doctor might earn more money, but you have to commit to many years of education and you might start your career with significant debt. Are there any jobs in the healthcare industry that appeal to you more?
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Claude’s Answer

Fantastic inquiry!

Parents are naturally inclined to want the best for their offspring. However, there are instances when they might unintentionally exert undue influence over their child's career choices.

It's crucial to have open conversations with your parents about your aspirations and reasons behind them. If they truly value and respect you, they'll give you the freedom to carve your own path.
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Monica’s Answer

Drawing from their own experiences, they believe they understand what's financially best for you. They encourage you to select a profession that not only enables you to sustain yourself but also affords you a comfortable lifestyle.
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Rafael’s Answer

Parents sometimes try to choose their child's career path because they want to make sure they have a secure and successful future. They might have their own ideas about what's best for you. But hey, it's your life and your career! Have a chat with your mom and let her know how passionate you are about the fashion industry. Show her that you've done your research and have a plan for success as well as a backup plan. Listen to her concerns and find a compromise that makes both of you happy. It's all about finding that balance!
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david’s Answer

This is your only life; you must be the one making the decisions now that you are of age. You may be wealthier if you follow your parents' advice, but you may not be happy in life. Listen to them, but then you make the decision. Otherwise, you will regret this decades from now.
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