Stop Right Now If You Are Being A Pushy Parent!

Parents who push their children beyond a point, actually push them away. There is a fine line between inspiring them to achieve and making them jump through hoops to reach goals that you have set for them. Here is an important article from an industry veteran who insists you break out of the cookie cutter mold.

Curated from Prabhakar Mundkur's LinkedIn post

You don't have to force your children to go to a Harvard, MIT, IIT or an IIM. Those institutions are not the end of the world. Once upon a time it seemed an easy ticket to a good job, if your child was a doctor, engineer or a management graduate but maybe no longer. There are too many unemployed engineering graduates in India. A few years ago a McKinsey report said over 25% of India's engineers were unemployed. Maybe now that number is 20% at best. There are 2 lakh unemployed doctors in India. There are 5500 B schools now in India and 7% of Management graduates are unemployable.

And if you have a lot of money to spend on your child's education and are sending them to an IB school with the hope of them going to the USA to one of the premier universities there, you are probably like a lot of parents I know. Who hope that sending them to the US for under grad studies assures them a future citizenship in the USA. But with the world getting more and more xenophobic and all the brown skin hate crimes that I am reading everyday in the newspapers, I am not sure that getting that Australian, or American citizenship is worth it if it threatens your life, or at least leads you to be insulted on the street for your brown skin.

And the parents who have encouraged their children to look at unusual professions, congratulations. I think you have done well. Especially one of my friends who has encouraged his son to become a professional musician, ever since his early teens. I think you are brave to have done that. I know he will do well. After all meeting a young musician is quite refreshing after meeting a young management student who has unfortunately grown up to only discuss marketing or some other serious management subject.

When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”― John Lennon

Another friend is sending his son to the True School in Mumbai and the guy is now set on becoming a bass guitarist. He is even growing his hair and being curly and long is getting a bit on his mothers nerves, but I think he is so interesting to talk to. Another friends child has become an artist. And he is selling his paintings all over the country. And yet another friend did send his son to do automobile engineering in the USA but has returned and turned to what is called metal art. C'mon now. Sharing your son's speech at Harvard is really not the end of the world for everybody else, no matter how much your heart swells with pride.

After 38 years of corporate life I love meeting all these people, artists, musicians, DJ's, radio anchors, fashion designers, young film directors, young Wimbledon aspirants who decided to make tennis a career and the rest of them. They make much more interesting conversation than engineers, doctors and management graduates.

So parents, do let you children become what they want to. And don't be influenced by Bollywood films like Dangal. Just because you are a wrestler it makes no sense to forcibly turn your daughters into wrestlers to meet some frustrated, unmet dream of yours.

Let your children be, please.