Career of our children: A need for paradigm shift
They say the most talked about topics in any part of the world are weather and politics! However, if you talk to parents anywhere, then obviously their children’s career would be the most discussed topic. There is no doubt that parents are always preoccupied with the need to plan ahead for their child’s future.
Right from the day the child begins to walk, they open a planner in their mind – Which language medium to choose… Which school to join… Which syllabus – State, CBSE, ICSE… What type of hobbies to inculcate – sports, music, dance… and finally, which career to focus on – engineering, medical, management, etc!
The biggest concern among all parents is whether their children will grow up to do better academically and be successful in their career. This worry constantly looms in the backs of their heads and affects every action the parents undertake.
In my due course of interaction with different parents, I have observed, there are parents who have a simple desire – their child should achieve excellence in academics and get a good career, while there are other parents who want their child to be a super achiever in everything.
They generally will push their child to centre stage in every get together to perform in front of everyone. Such parents put enormous pressure on their child to score high marks in academics, achieve excellence in sports and in extra-curricular activities as well.
With the explosion of reality shows on TV and the internet, parents push their children to excel so that they gain bask in their reflected glory. Some of them like I call them are tiger moms and dads who quarrel with reality show judges to change their judgement about their child’s performance!
Not only on reality shows but also in school youth festivals, we have this trend of going for a legal appeal, children put through the misery of performing again and again just to get to number one, and most of the times its their parents’ stubbornness to bring their child to number one that makes them do all this.
Obviously, every child is differently skilled and cannot be judged on the same measurement scale and somewhere I feel we fail to realize this fact. In the process of fulfilling our desire of seeing the child as an all-rounder knowingly or unknowingly we are making them to live a check listed childhood where it’s all about completing the various tasks assigned to them by us or teachers.
I might sound as if I am professing that parents should show complete lack of interest in their child’s career… they should not be bothered even when their children go astray… Surely no!
When I say over-parenting is dangerous for a child’s growth, I am not advocating under-parenting either! We need to provide the right learning environment, give enough guidance for our children to do the task themselves.
Now once this is said, in today’s scenario both parents and teachers stand confused on what to advice students, how to guide them to choose the right career path or rather what would be right for them. A few decades ago, we couldn’t have imagined a world where technology would be such a powerful force.
But the digital revolution and the incessant rise of new and emerging technologies means that many jobs of today will not be around tomorrow. An estimate, cited by the World Economic Forum in its 2016 report The Future of Work, is that “65% of children entering primary school today will ultimately end up working in completely new job types that don’t yet exist.”
The good news is that new jobs will be created. But what sorts of skills will these roles require? And what sort of people will work in them? How can we get our children more creative and innovative?
Dear parents, gone are those days where being talented was a luxury, in today’s and tomorrow’s scenario being talented is a survival skill. Know more about what can we do to get our children more creative and think out of the box in my upcoming article.
(The author is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Learning Arena, an e-learning company)