Opinion: Parental influence can negatively affect child’s career plan

Constant voices fill my head — these voices, telling me what to and what not to do, have been echoing in my mind all my life.

As a child of Asian parents, I’ve witnessed firsthand — from mine and my friends’ point of views — the effect of parents intervening with choices. The consistent lectures on what we’re not supposed to do, whether it be the people we’re associating with or what we are doing in life. The writing field is what I’m aiming for and I want to go into that field without feeling guilty for not becoming a doctor, starting a business or having a career that exceeds expectations.

Parents influencing their child’s career path is a big conflict among families in America. A study by Joblist.com records that 48% of people felt their parents have influenced their career path, and 40% have felt pressured to follow their parents’ advice. When someone is in a career they feel no passion for, it can negatively affect their performance and mental health. Doing work somebody doesn’t love can lead to burnout and an unsuccessful turnout in the industry.

Stereotypes are a big factor in forced careers. Different cultures, like Asian cultures, are stereotyped as “the smart ones,” which has a large part in parents forcing kids to become doctors, nurses or lawyers. Societal and parental pressures can lead to an increase in stress and anxiety for wanting to choose the job children truly want to do, which increases the risk of depression.

I believe parents have their child’s best interest in mind; however, allowing a path where their child is fully in control can lead to a better familial relationship and an increase in mental health, as well as more experience as they are entering adulthood in college. Why not take part in an opportunity where everyone is at their happiest?

Parental influence has a major impact on a child’s mental health and where they end up in life. A child should be able to choose what career path they want if it means they’re in an environment where they feel confident and comfortable.