• Catherine Liu

Overparenting

Growing up in an Asian household, my parents have always told me what to do. And everything they told me to do was to be done. There were consequences for anything I did wrong or failed to do the correct way. I’m sure there are many other parents out there who raise their kids this way since it’s not only Asian parents. They control almost every aspect of their children’s lives, making all of their children’s decisions for them. These types of parents say they are doing what’s best for their children. Although I didn’t realize this as a young child, I now feel as though this type of parenting is doing the opposite by harming more than helping children, especially if they start controlling which career their child will go into.

At the young age of four or five, children are sent to school and exposed to different types of subjects ranging from math to history. Many are given the opportunity to try different activities, such as playing a sport or participating in theatre or the arts. Once we graduate high school and move onto college, we are expected to know what area we want to major in. But by that time, who knows how many parents have “brainwashed” their children into choosing a major that they aren’t necessarily interested in? I don’t want to sound stereotypical, but Asian parents are usually the ones who try to limit their children’s career options to the medical, law, or engineering fields. Their worst nightmares involve their child becoming a musician or an artist, even though they pushed their child to take on piano and violin while growing up. They pressure their children into participating in different extracurriculars, only to tell them they can only choose from a few career options once they get into college.

Many parents often try to choose their child’s career path, telling them, “You have to become this,” or “study this subject”. Often times at a young age, children will listen to their parents and pursue whatever career their parents told them to. They seek to please their parents and therefore do as told however, at a young age, children haven’t yet discovered what their strengths . They are still growing as people and exploring who they are. They either have ridiculous ideas of what they want or just listen to whatever their parents advise them to become. But as they grow, kids sometimes find they are more interested in other areas or careers than the ones they were told to pursue.

By always making decisions for kids and telling them what to do, overprotective will create a person who won’t be able to think for themselves. They will become a robot who will only do as they are told, with no independence. They grow into adults who are unable to make decisions because their parents have always decided for them. Once these kids start looking for jobs, they’ll realize bosses would rather hire those who can make decisions and take initiative instead of employees who will only follow instructions and have nothing else to contribute.

Let your child do what interests them. Let them explore their passions, and choose their career based on their interests. Don’t force them into playing the piano if they hate it, just because all other parents are forcing their children to take piano lessons. If you want your child to play an instrument, at least let them play an instrument that interests them. Don’t choose their career path for them before they find out what type of person they are. Allow them to grow into their own person and let them make some of their own decisions. Some parents need to learn that money isn't everything, so don’t force your kids to do a job that they'll be miserable with for the rest of their lives just so they will be able to make more money. Allow them to pursue their own passions. Even if they don't become rich in money they'll become rich in satisfaction. No job will be worth more than doing something they like.

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