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Majority of parents are ‘pushing’ children towards careers

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Six in ten parents admit to trying to push their child down a particular career route, it has been revealed. Researchers found that parents are trying to influence their child’s career or education plans, with many admitting it’s to try and convince them to follow the path they wish they had taken.

Other reasons for the pushy parenting include simply wanting the best for them, trying to stop them making the same mistakes they did or even to encourage their offspring to follow in their footsteps.

But almost four in ten admit they think they have piled too much pressure on their children over their career choices.

The study also found that one in five parents are more likely to try and influence their daughters’ choices, compared to just 13% who heap more pressure on their sons.

A spokesman for British Glass, which commissioned the research to mark the launch of its Women in Manufacturing initiative, said:

”It’s natural for parents to want the best for their children, so it’s only right that they are there to offer guidance and advice at a time when their children are making some of the most important decisions of their life.

”But because of this, it’s important that the decision young people do make is what they really want to do – not what mum or dad wants them to do.

”It’s especially worrying to see that it’s daughters who are most likely to be pushed into something compared to sons.

”This highlights the importance of providing young people and their parents with careers advice that is not governed by gender stereotypes.”

The study of 2,000 parents of children aged 13 and over found that 61% admit to trying to influence their child’s career choices in some way.

But while 28% just drop the odd hint, 27% admit they just come out and tell their child exactly what they want them to do.

38% have even enlisted the help of a friend or even their child’s friend to help talk their child into, or out of, a particular decision about their career or education choice.

Researchers found that while 68% try to talk their children into a certain route because they want nothing but the best for them, three in ten said it’s because they want them to go to university.

Almost one in five believe their children are more capable than they think while 16% don’t want to be stuck in the same career they have been.

Wanting them to study a certain subject at college or university, earn a particular amount of money or even not wanting them to go to university at all are also among the reasons for the pushy parenting.

Almost four in ten have even rowed with their children because they were trying to talk them into something or they were making a decision they didn’t agree with.

But one in three admitted they worry that pushing their child into a certain job or career may lead to them being unhappy in the future, with a quarter regretting the impression they tried to make on their offspring.

Half (52%) of respondents admitted to being a pushy parent, while a further 77% owned up to trying to influence their child’s decisions once in a while.

Other than career choices, school work, their friends and even their reading or musical tastes are also on the list of things parents try to influence.

Dave Dalton, CEO of British Glass and The Glass Academy, added:

“The results of this research support our reasons for launching the Women in Manufacturing initiative.

“There is a preconceived idea about jobs in engineering and manufacturing with parents and teachers either knowingly or unknowingly perpetuating the gender stereotypes that women should enter caring professions and men should go into science and maths based professions.

“Modern manufacturing and engineering is a technologically advanced and innovative sector so we need to raise awareness of the numerous well paid, exciting and fulfilling career opportunities available to inspire more girls and young women to study STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects and go into careers in the industry.”