Parents want what is best for their children and it is natural for parents to compare their children with progressive children. However some parents take the comparison to the extreme without thinking that their child cannot be exactly like the neighbour's child who is a whizkid. For instance a parent will compare his child to a child who is a genius at maths and expect his/her child to be a maths genius as well. The parent forgets that not all children can be maths geniuses and that each child has his/her own unique gift. This comparison of children by their parents puts the children under unnecessary pressure and strain and as such they become miserable.
In South Africa we have a high drop out rate at universities mainly because of parents who force their teen children to take courses that will guarantee them jobs that pay well. Young men and women who are gifted in other fields of study are forced to take courses that do not enhance and complement their natural talents because of the quest for immediate gratification of their parents. The fine example is that of a rising phenomenon in the black community where parents are pushing their children to study chartered accountancy because that's where the money is, nothing is wrong with that, but not all young people are meant to become chartered accountants even if they passed matric maths well. The result of this has been miserable students who take courses to please their competitive and materialistic parents. These miserable students then become miserable young professionals who mostly become substance abusers because they are in the wrong professions.
Parents must realise that not all children are meant to become paper pushers working for big companies. They must realise that some children are meant to be artists, musicians, writers,actors and other creative people. The problem in the black community is generational poverty which then places a huge burden on the shoulders of the young ones to study courses that will get them well paying jobs so as to get the families out of poverty.Black parents don't have time to wait for children to blossom into their natural careers like writing or music, they say these professions are a waste of time and money and as such no black parent wants to pay for their child to study writing or acting, if they do pay for that it's either they are illiterate or very rich. The black middle class parents certainly don't want their children to become creatives.They all want their children to become unthinking, money making, miserable corporate robots.In the black community no parent wants their child to become a scholar, a philosopher or historian, any child who wants to become any of these is dismissed as either stupid or unrealistic.
Another problem of comparing children is the animosity that develops amongst children. Those children who are unable to fulfill their parents wishes of becoming well paid professional hate those who have managed to fulfill their parent's dreams.Black parents must realise that life is not only about money, but life is about doing the things you love and money will follow. They need to be more open minded and not become narrow minded materialists and consumerists who condemn their children to miserable lives.
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