According to a new survey, millions of parents admit they live their life vicariously through their children by encouraging them to hit the highs in sports and hobbies which they never achieved, as researchers have found that nearly half of parents have encouraged their offspring to go down a certain path in life because it was something they were keen to do.
Two thirds of those parents said they had persuaded their child to progress certain career choices and 37% said they encouraged them to pursue certain subjects at school or college because they personally enjoyed them.
The poll found 38% of parents said there were things in life they had never achieved and therefore wanted their kids to pursue.
Parents push chidren to excel at sport
One in five parents admits they push their children to excel at sport because they’re convinced they could have made it as a professional sportsman but never had the opportunity with the most popular being football, followed by swimming. With the success of Team GB at the 2012 Olympics it might be even more tempting to steer children down a sporting path!
More than one in ten also confessed to pushing their child to do a sport or hobby that they didn’t want to do.
A further 30% of parents would actively encourage their child to take part in talent shows, while a third said pushing children made their dreams achievable.
The study of 2000 parents was conducted by Simple to coincide with its Spotlight On Talent competition, where the skincare brand is offering a £15,000 scholarship fund to one lucky youngster to pursue their talent.
Additionally, the study revealed:
- Half of parents would have no qualms about guiding their offspring down a certain path as they know they are doing it for the best;
- One in five said they felt guilty as they were making their kids do something because they hadn’t been able to (in fact, the study also found that mums are guiltier of living life through their kids than dads);
- However, more than two-thirds said there is a difference between being a pushy parent and encouraging your child to make the most of their lives.
Despite this, a more laidback 30% of mothers and fathers said they would never push their child to do something they didn’t want to do.
So, in helping our children too much, are we in danger of preventing them from following their own passions and making their own mistakes?
It is so easy to want to prevent our children making the same mistakes we did when younger, but are we also taking away valuable learning experience by leading them down a specific path?