The Crush of Parental Expectations

Who hasn’t come across the pressures of parental expectations? The expectations of their parents weigh heavily on their children. Some parents want them to become what they were, others want them to become what they were not! Yet others want them to become what they think the child should become. In all this, what is often forgotten or worst still ignored, is what the child wants to become!

As a result, either the child becomes miserable doing what he/she does not want to do or the parent becomes frustrated and disappointed to see the child do something other than what they expected.

Of course, as we grow up our perspectives and consequently our ambitions change. I remember my grandma yelling at me years ago when I was a kid as my dearest ambition, which I went about stating proudly, was to become a bus conductor. I liked the way they whistled and hung out precariously from the crowded Chennai buses.

It’s interesting that career ambitions change as the years go by. If I am not mistaken the percentage of young men who follow their father’s footsteps to take up a career in India’s defence services must be falling over the years. A few generations ago, it was the done thing to join your father’s Regiment and continue a hallowed tradition. Is that fast waning?

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