Handling Parent Pressure When Choosing a Stream After 10th

student empowerement
  • vinod
  • 10 Mar, 2019

Let’s accept it. All of us have faced it in one way or the other – when we were growing kids and particularly when it came to choosing a stream after 10th and a career after 12th. A huge chunk of grownups usually succumbs to parents’ wishes. Consequently, they choose a stream and a course to pursue a career they have no interest in. The result isn't far from our imagination and sometimes goes to as extreme as students committing suicide to get rid of pressure they were knowingly or unknowingly exposed to. This was, is and will remain the same with hundreds and thousands of students at least for a couple of decades to come. However, doing certain things as a parent and taking one-step further might end the problem to a greater extent. We are here to help you know how to handle parent pressure when choosing a stream initially and pursuing a career later on.

Why Parents do what they do?

This might sound little off the topic here but this question has popped up in the minds of every aspirant who had to choose a stream and course with no likings whatsoever. It is important to understand the parents’psychology behind what they do and why. There might be innumerable reasons for parents to push their children to choose a particular stream. We are listing some of them here to put light on this grave issue.

  • Parents Think Their Kids Know Nothing: This is the first, big problematic assertion that pushes the kids into a wrong stream, then course and finally profession where they find themselves out of place. Parents usually give no heed to their kids’ assertions, likings and aspirations on the premonition that they are too young to understand the stream, course and career things. Hence, the catastrophe and we often hear about students giving up the challenge and sadly, even life to find safe haven.
  • Try to Live their Dreams Again: Some parents want their kids to do what they, owing to reasons being many, were not able to. They cherish their dreams and aspirations but somehow fail to understand their dreams might not be their kids’. However, kids being too immature to resist their parents’ wishes, dependent and a lack of knowledge about what to do finally push them to align with parents’ wishes. Woefully, kids end up regretting their choice when the realization comes. By that time, however, it is usually too late for the damage control and even repair.
  • A Pursuit of Hefty Salary Package: During the exam and counselling seasons, we usually find news about students getting hefty salary packages doing the rounds of the web. Students from IITs and IIMs usually get such packages and parents, knowingly or unknowingly, fall for such news and start dreaming about the same for their kids. In the excitement, they expect their kids to do everything possible to get admission in the coveted IITs and IIMs so that they could fetch them that much-desired 1Crore plus salary package. In the race, parents not only push kids for doing extreme but also forget caring for what their traits, aptitude and likings are.
  • Making Comparisons: Parents usually compare their kids with the children of their neighbours, relatives and colleagues who did well in a particular stream and are now earning handsomely. When making a comparison, parents forget that their kid might not be born with the same aptitude and reasoning skills. It is quite likely that the kid has a great inclination towards another stream or subject for that matter. However, the kid usually falls prey to parents’ comparison making a habit and what follows suit is something we all are familiar with.

There are other reasons too but we end this right here and move to the core topic of how to handle such a pressure from the parents and peers without annoying everyone. Here are certain tips that will help you for sure.

Doing Research is Imperative!

Arguing for likings and disliking will only be logical if you know about all the streams, particularly yours, in detail. I mean right from understanding what your inner self-wants you to do to what you like the most and what inspires you to achieve those coveted goals, the research is the only way out for you. Further, aligning your likings and aspirations with a stream and career will surely give you a great deal of knowledge and confidence. You will get into a position to put your feelings forward strongly. The confidence and knowledge you have accumulated will give parents confidence and reason to trust you. With this, it’s highly likely that you are successful in convincing your parents to allow you to take the driver’s seat.

Reason your Choice!

Do invest more time in the field you want to pursue. Basis the research you did; put your views of pursuing a particular stream and then a course firmly. Give reasons for your choice and support them with logic. Do find out and narrate, if the need arises, the success stories of individuals in the stream and course of your choice to reason against your parents’ decision. This will be a strong defence against the pressure flowing from the parents. Without very good research and reason, you might not be able to convince your parents for the stream and course you want to pursue. Make sure you have enough of the facts, figures, success stories and everything related to your choice so that you could impress your parents.

Remain Clam, Composed and Chill Down!

Even if parents are telling you about their choice 100th time, remain calm. Don’t lose your disposition and talk in a higher tone than your parents’. Use the reasonable tone, but with confidence, to give an impression you fully understand the field, know reasons behind your choice and results that may follow. Make sure you are polite enough for your parents to listen to what you have to say. A good demeanour and higher confidence will give an impression that you have given all the options at hand a serious thought and are mature enough to discuss things in a good environment without arguing unnecessarily.

Enlist an Expert Aid

It’s highly unlikely that you convince your parents 100 percent in one attempt. Your lone efforts might fall short to cross the traditional line. Therefore, bringing an expert in the picture might help you convince parents. It could be anyone, your elder uncle, grandfather, school counsellor, teacher, coach, elder siblings and friends used to the way of thinking your parents have. These people might have a considerable influence on your parents’ thinking. Make sure they argue in your favour with the logical reasons. This will help you alleviate some pressure if not all and put your parents on a route that connect with yours.

Keep an Alternative Plan Handy!

To back your choice, you need to be mentally prepared to change the course of discussion in your favour. Before you start that million-dollar discussion to decide and lock fate your way, know your mind and keep all the points ready. Listen to your parent’s wishes; discuss your career choice seriously and present an alternative plan to reason for your decision. Accordingly, a sound course of action required to achieve the goal will surely add more weightage. This will help you not only bring in the positive air during the interaction and win your parents’ confidence but also portray yourself as a mature and knowledgeable lad who is really serious about a career. This will also enable your parents to breathe a sigh of relief too and your pressure is likely to wind off.

Try Finding the Middle Path

Before you indulge in a discussion with your parents about choosing a stream, know that they put pressure on you to pursue a particular stream is because of the passion they have for it. It is unlikely that they will budge completely and fall in line with your aspirations. Therefore, it is your time to take one step further and make your parents feel that you do care for their passion and understand, at least some, genuine concerns. In such a situation, finding a middle path might help at times and you shouldn’t let this option go altogether. For example, if parents want you to study languages, let’s say, French, you can always tell them that you won’t mind going the extra mile to learn French for one good hour daily from a certified trainer or affiliated institute. This might help you reach a mutually agreed solution.

It’s Never Too Late to Make a Perfect Choice!

They say it’s never too late to make the right decision. This thing also goes for students who have chosen a stream after 10th class basis their parents’ wishes and are now in a difficult situation. Those who have opted for science but like commerce or say arts, it is still not too late to make a correct choice. However, if they will miss a chance this time, it might be. Those who by mistake have opted for science can opt for commerce or arts stream, commerce students for arts, or arts and humanities students for professional and vocational courses of their choice. Arts and humanities students do not enjoy the freedom to select for commerce or science stream, whereas commerce stream students can opt for Arts and science students opt for any of the two streams.

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