A parent just wants what’s best for their child.

This holds true for almost every situation. We might not always understand what they do, how they do, why they do the things that they do. But they know very well what they are up to.

There are times when we just do not understand the reason behind a particular thing that our parents ask us to do or not to do. But they know how this particular moment can affect our lives in the upcoming future. They know what consequences a particular action beholds. They care about the bigger picture, while we kids are concerned just about the near future. This obvious difference between parents being far-sighted and kids being short-sighted often brings about conflicts between the parent and the child.

Why is there such a huge difference in thoughts?

As for our parents, they have seen the world. They have already crossed our age. Our parents know what will lead to what. Also, they know answers to almost everything. Parents have a huge amount of experience that we kids are yet to explore. However, we kids are short-sighted and impulsive. We are curious, ready to explore. We like to take risks and see where the chips fall. But that’s not how it all works.

Our parents live by the principle of “Prevention is better than cure.” This is something that not all of us are inclined towards. So it really becomes a bit difficult to go along. But is that always true? Do our parents really always know what they are getting us into?

Let’s see.

There are two situations:

  • Parents ask their kids about the field they are interested in and ask them to follow it.
  • Parents make career decisions for their kids. It means that the parents choose a career stream and ask their kids to follow the same.

The first situation is a totally different topic. We are here to discuss the second situation.

Personally talking to 20 parents, it has been discovered that a general parenting mindset holds the following options:

  • If a kid scores well in Science – The parents suggest the kid take up Engineering or MBBS
  • If a kid scores well in Commerce – The parents suggest the kid take up courses like CA, CS, MBA
  • And if a kid scores well in Arts – The parents consider their kids to be weak in studies and force them into the Commerce field, thinking it to be the next easy field.

What we all fail to understand is, Science, Commerce, and Arts, all are equally difficult and equally easy to understand. And, choosing a particular field does not indicate the level of intelligence of a kid. What we also miss completely is scoring well in a subject does not necessarily indicate a kid’s interest in that subject.

Now, for the Science stream, we all are already aware of the pressure that students get. Those who are strong enough, survive while the ones who cannot handle it, find the option of committing suicide. We hear every other day, in the news about Science students committing suicide.

But does that just stop at the Science stream? No. Students commit suicide from every field. We don’t know the real reason. Do we hear a lot of suicide cases from the Chartered Accountancy field? No. But does that mean that anywhere in the country no CA student has ever committed suicide? No. It does not mean that if we’re not aware of something, that thing does not happen. It does. If we talk about the most common and most prestigious course in Commerce field, the Chartered Accountancy course, we will see that pressure exists in this field, too.

Talking to the parents as to why they would prefer the Chartered Accountancy course over any other course in the Commerce field, these are the points that intrigued them:

  • They said that the Chartered Accountancy course is not very expensive.
  • They believed that students learn Accounting in high school, so there shall be no issues while pursuing the Chartered Accountancy course.
  • The maximum number of parents think that the Chartered Accountancy course is all about Accounting.
  • They said that this course seems viable because it can be done along with Graduation.
  • The parents believed that by the time a student graduates, the student would have already cleared two stages of the Chartered Accountancy course and can start with Articleship.
  • For parents with daughters, they believed that their daughter would have a degree and possibly a job by the time she gets married so that she won’t have to depend on her partner.
  • The parents believed the Chartered Accountancy course to be one of the easiest courses because of the belief that the kid has already scored 100 in Accounting during the Boards Examinations, so how hard would it be for them to score in the Chartered Accountancy course.

So we see here what actually the problem is:

  1. The parents are not quite aware of the whole Chartered Accountancy course. They are not well aware of the curriculum of this course. They seem to have no idea about the subjects and the syllabus. All these problems arise when a student comes from a non-CA background.
  2. The parents are not aware of mental health and its issues. The traditional beliefs have made them think that mental issues only mean that a kid is retarded. Going to see a therapist is still a huge taboo in this country. People do not even acknowledge issues such as anxiety, depression, internal suffocation, etc.
  3. Parents think that paying for a kid’s education and taking care of them is the only parameter of parenting. They are not even concerned about the fact that spending some time with kids and taking them out once in a while is also important.

How can we resolve these issues?

  1. We can start by educating our parents about the whole curriculum of the Chartered Accountancy course. It’s us who have to let them know what a student goes through. Also, we need to explain to them what actually happens here.
  2. The next step would be, very carefully informing our parents about mental health. We need to enlighten our parents that the mental health of a child is important. It is not something to be ignored. It’s a cry for help when a kid behaves strangely. When a kid is going through a trauma, outside help should be sought. They should be keenly observed. If a kid gets angry easily or starts crying, the parents should talk to them. When a kid says they are hurt because of something their parents did or said to them, the parents do not get to decide that the kid did not get hurt. A helping hand needs to be stretched towards them.

Parents should be careful of the words they choose. Continuous shaming, taunting all the time, not respecting their work, never appreciating them, comparing them with other kids – all these scars a kid for their whole life. Saying that all these are to be taken light-heartedly or as a joke is no excuse for hurting someone like this.

Going to a therapist should be as normal as going to a dentist.

  1. Cooking food on time, packing school bags, doing laundry, providing shelter, paying education fees – these are not the only parameter of parenting. It is widespread. For a kid’s proper mental development, it is necessary to spend time with them, read books, watch series/movies, play games that involve learning, going out with them – all these nourish a child’s growth. Parents need to spend more time with their kids.

What kind of pressure are we talking about?

We are talking about pressures like:

  • Your cousin is doing CA, you should do it, too.
  • They cleared all the levels in the first attempt, how couldn’t you?
  • They scored such good marks. What are you doing?
  • Also, they get a hand full of salary doing articleship. Is that stupid job of yours, even a real job?
  • There is no value of mere Graduation. You can’t do CA? That means you can’t do anything!
  • If you do not pass in this attempt, we will get you married!
  • If you find it so difficult, why don’t you leave this course? (Says the one who forced their kid in the first place)
  • It’s okay. Not every kid becomes a CA.
  • There is no pressure on you. CA is not for everyone.
  • You are no good, you embarrassed us, you defamed us.
  • You ruined our lives.
  • Maybe you should have taken up Arts.

These are the kinds of pressure we are talking about.

Now, this is not what all parents say.

Some of them are also the kind who stay awake the whole night with us, asking if we need anything. They cry when we cry from the despair of failing the examinations, sit by our side until we finally fall asleep. They are there to pick up the broken pieces after the results. Those kinds of parents motivate us even in the darkest of our times. And finally, they make their brave soldiers stand up for fighting once again. Nobody gets as happy as they do when all our hard work pays off. Those are the kinds of parents that only the lucky ones among us get.

So, it’s more about our parents’ knowledge of the courses they choose for us and our level of understanding with them. There is nothing that we can take personally. At some levels, it all comes from their own childhood experiences. We need to take initiatives towards safeguarding our future. Playing the blame-game is easy but it takes a lot of courage to take up the responsibility towards helping ourselves by helping our parents understand things better. Hence, it’s all in our hands to experience what kind of parenting we want. There is nothing called a “Toxic Parent”. It’s really all about our relationship with our parents.

What are your thoughts about this? Let us know in the comments below.