When I was growing up, every parent's dream was for their child to become a doctor or an engineer. Now there are so many career choices and pathways that one can become successful in many different ways. Should parents carve the path for their child so that he is compelled towards making certain career choices to please their parents or should children be left totally alone and given 100% independence in deciding what they want to do with their life?
Some families do this, and its not a good idea personally. Your career always gravitates depending on your growth and development. If you come from a family of say, lawyers and doctors, then chances are, you'll end up in that professional also - family expectations. The subjects you enjoy, gravitate towards and study at school leave a few clues. Indeed, success does leave clues, yet not always. My CV (thankfully freelance writing, editing and publishing has changed all of that) was eight pages long prior, because I kept chopping and changing careers.
Tricky. It would be nice to think that children would make their own decision as to their appropriate future career path, although maybe a little guidance from parents as to their strengths and goals wouldn't hurt in making the right choice?
It's a good idea to give your child plenty of opportunity to pursue a good career but pushing them towards one in particular seems likely to backfire. Your child might not have the aptitude for what you want them to do and more importantly it might not make them happy. I think part of the joy of having kids is waiting to see what kind of people they become, what their interests and passions will be. All that will be lost if you try and force them to be something they're not.
Parents should not live their dreams through their children. We all want out children to grow up to balanced individuals. We brought up our children encouraging to do their best at all times , to embrace new experiences, exposed them to as many different experiences that we could: and I do not mean activities like theme parks that may cost money but utilising libraries, national parks, craft, setting up their own vegie gardens, learning a new skill, talking to an elderly neighbour... the list is endless. If they were not sure what they wanted to do when they left school, we helped them find opportunities to try - traineeships for 12 months can be fantastic, I agree with Justine that the chances are that family expectations can have a major impact: parents try and keep an open mind and give encouragement. Our daughter was always outstanding at maths, science geography etc but hated English with a passion: we encouraged her to work at her English as this is seen as the route to communication - and she made it into one of the most difficult degrees to access at university, and after trying maths /geology moved into a medical field. She is now looking elsewhere and studying a biostatistics degree.... and the other one - well a 12 months traineeship at a very large grocery chain had lead him to establish a logistics business grossing 8 million dollars a year and he now understands why we encouraged him to understand the business by acquiring skills ... he has completed various TAFE courses in business so he understands the tools needed to run the business......I wish all of your children health and happiness