Teenagers are of the opinion that they can have the same level of freedom and choice when it comes to issues that concern them directly.
They consider little or no guidance in a relationship, educational pursuit, financial matters, and even social conduct. A teenager sees himself more like a youth, who should be given independence over his life.
However, most parents, especially fathers’ who are financial custodians of their Teenagers always have better options for their Teens choice of career. A teenager might want to become a photographer, hence enter into a department in arts and humanities. The parent might not feel too convinced about such career choice and opt for the more impressionable choices in engineering, computer sciences, and Law.
You know, there is a perceived social applause when your kid becomes a graduate in any of the aforementioned courses, as it massages the Ego of the parents, especially fathers.
Parents want to splash the social media with pictures and invite friends to the graduation ceremony with the tagline ‘Jude graduates from Law School’ or ‘Sonia is going to be an Engineer’.
However, Teenagers who are going to colleges and the university don’t want to be pushed around on a career path, and when you do, these are ways they feel.
Mistrust — Trust is a viable commodity before teenagers; their perception of trust is different from adults. It’s not only when you tell a lie, that your teenager will not believe you. They perceive you don’t trust them enough to make decisions concerning their lives, and hence won’t reciprocate the same towards you. It’s like telling a teenager to bring meat from the pot, and you follow him to the kitchen — such a child thinks he is going to steal. At this point, your teenager begins to wonder if he can also trust you with his life. The last person’s trust you want to lose is that of your teenager, as it might take a long time before it’s restored.
Betrayed — Betrayal is a close relative of distrust, as they both are inherent. Your teenager feels betrayed, as you are intentionally robbing him of his dreams. Suppose your teenager wants to become a pilot, and you choose a course in surgery for him. The world for him suddenly stops — they feel used and lied to by someone they call a parent. Nothing in the world would make up for such feeling, as he believes such parent is after personal gains.
Unloved — I know daddy doesn’t love me. This becomes the social and emotional state of your teenager. How do you prove love to a teenager, who believes you intentionally robbed him of his dreams? He suddenly begins to ask friends and other adults, if you are actually his parent — or he is just an adopted child. The latest TV games, dresses or mobile gadgets won’t make up for his teenage fantasies that you are overruling by your parental power. Not allowing your teenager to pursue his dream career means, you have rejected him and don’t love him.
Undervalued — the loss of value is one the greatest harm that can happen to any teenager. Enforcing a choice of career on a teenager, simply means you don’t value such teen. The teenager perceives that his conversations, and perceptions about his life do not matter to you. Your teenager will be quick to conclude that he or she has no relevance in your life.
Depressed — I remember when my mum didn’t fix my college transfer in quick time, because she had other pressing issues. Well, I won’t say I was depressed, but I sunk into mood swings and loneliness. Teenagers feel their desires should override every other demand in the house, especially on their dreams. So, when you enforce career choices, you send such teenager into moods that can affect their mental or emotional state, which could either be mood swings, loneliness or depression. You notice that they want to be left alone most times, especially when you are around.
This article first appeared on medium.com