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Let's Give Them The Freedom To Choose

Yesterday someone shared an advertisement on our school group which raised the most debatable question "whether one size fits all" related to children's education and their choice of career. We instantly jumped into the discussion.

The point in the discussion was that- It is essential to put a little bit of pressure on children when it comes to studies.

Another thing which I observed was that some of us were continuously confusing the importance of education with the children's right to chose their career.

I think every household having kids should chalk out a study plan for their kids, the flexibility of which should be at the discretion of parents.

I also agree with some of my friends that only a small number of kids are self-driven to study, but others need a push. But how much should be the pressure to be put is altogether a different topic to discuss for another time.

Most of us believed that we have to see that our kids are financially sound in their careers, and sometimes we have to steer them in the right career path to achieve that. I agree with them, but I have only one question how do we decide that, or do we have the right to decide, what career our kids choose?

I would narrate my personal experience here that will clarify my perspective on this topic. In my school days, my father always wanted me to become a doctor but, I realised that I was more interested in Defence services and the subject Law. But when the time came, my father straight away refused to let me apply for the service citing the reason of me being their only daughter. They even objected to Law, giving the rationale that only those people succeed In the legal profession who have someone in their family from the same vocation.

I never imagined pursuing any other career other than Defence or Law so I was really

confused and sad. I did my 12th in commerce (because there was no Arts faculty in my

school and I was not interested in science) that time I had only two choices either

go for M.Com or Management studies the later seemed fine to me and I thought

of pursuing Human Resource but then, again my father decided that I would study Finance, I

tried to explain to him that I was not at all interested in Accounts or for that matter, anything even remotely related to finance, but he paid no heed to that saying that HR has no future.

He further said that I had to pursue Management studies in Distance Learning Format because he couldn't afford to send me to Business school, but in those days, Distance Learning courses hardly carried any weightage.

Needless to say here, I did not do well in Management studies but only managed to secure

passing percentage, by God'sGrace I succeeded at getting an interview call from a very

reputed bank in those days, but the posting was in Chennai. This time it was my mother

who at the mention of me going to Chennai for just an interview created such a scene and

declared that I was not to go out of Lucknow till I get married.

I could never have a career which I dreamt of where I could have achieved somethings in life

if given an opportunity but instead had to settle for jobs I did not enjoy and ended up leaving

them in frustration.

Thanks to my husband, he is the one who identified a quality in me that I never thought would help me come out of this frustrating and horrible career crisis- My Love to Teach, It has been more than five years since I started teaching and it gives me satisfaction from knowing that I am making some difference in a kid's life.

So my answer to "do we have the right to decide which career our children should choose?" is always a NO. I don't want my child to go through the disappointment of not able to have a career she loves or feel resentment towards her parents like at a certain point in life I felt towards mine for messing up my career. I would like to see her enjoying the work she does, leading a life full of motivation, a sense of fulfilment, and happiness.

It would pain me to see her leading a life where she is not happy with what she is doing and so every day going to work becomes a struggle, a life without a purpose, a life that only revolves around earning money so that she can just stay afloat.

I also understand the concern of every parent about their children's financial security,

therefore, here what I think we would do with our kid when she comes of age, we will be

discussing her career path with her with an open mind because not every kid wants to be a

doctor, engineer, or go to business schools and not every kid is motivated by money. We are going to make sure that she gets basic school and college education before heading on the

path of her career she is passionate about. We would definitely, depending on our then

monetary situation would communicate to our child the stretch we are capable of making in supporting her and strategise accordingly keeping in view all the options where she can

both support herself and at the same time follow her dream.

It remains to be seen in course of time how much we achieve as far as our planning is concerned but what is certain is, we will give our child the freedom she deserves to choose her career. My husband often says, "do what you love, happiness and all the comforts of life will follow you".

Let me know your thoughts on this, and let's just take a moment to think about what kind of life we want our kids to have. We cannot control success or failure but what we can do is give them a chance.

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