Situations when parents impose their dreams on their children.

As the famous saying goes “Don’t get your hopes up too high because you will end up breaking your own heart”. Don’t expect too much, because the higher you are, the deeper you might fall. Some parents desire for their children to fulfill their own unrealized ambitions. Parents see their child as part of themselves, the more likely they want their child to succeed in achieving their own failed dreams. These parents may be most likely to want their children to achieve the dreams that they themselves have not achieved. Parents then may bask in the reflected glory of their children, and lose some of the feelings of regret and disappointment that they couldn’t achieve these same goals. They might be living vicariously through their children.This desire of parents for their children to fulfill their dreams impact the mental health of their offspring.

The game of hope and expectation is being played now days, between parents and their children. Instead of telling to compete with one self and acquire excellence students were asked to compete with others. Parents force their children to be a part of cut-throat competition without actually considering the child’s aptitude or capacity for the subjects. As an American author Jodi Picoult, has written in her book Nineteen Minutes “There are two ways to be happy: improve your reality, or lower your expectations”. The tremendous stress sometimes can be too much for the students to bear,leading to depression.

The main cause for depression among teenaged students are pressure from parents. Performance anxiety leads to suicidal tendencies among students, who take extreme step out of frustration. For example in Kota, Rajasthan, according to Kota police’s records, every month at least one coaching student commits suicide for not being able to cope with the pressure. Generally such students committ suicide and leave the note behind, reading: ” Sorry Papa, I quit”.

And for the parents, please remember that famous theoretical physicist, author Stephen Hawking once said “My expectations were reduced to zero when I was 21. Everything since then has been a bonus.” Instead of pressurising for unrealistic expectations and impossible ambitions, parents should know the talents and abilities of their children and mould them accordingly. So please think several times before making a decision about the future of your child. It’s better to let him/her decide what he/she wants to do in his/her life. And make sure that you don’t let someone rob your child’s life. As Bernard Kelvin Clive has written in his book How To Do It At Any Age –“One of the greatest things parents can do for their children is to believe in them(their uniqueness) and help them realize their own God-given dreams.”

Chinmay Khare
Student B.A.(Hons.) Economics
Jamia Millia Islamia