Stifling Children’s Freedom

Parents Should Give Their Children More Freedom to Develop Interests and Personal Viewpoints

Sophie Stoddart, Reporter

All parents want their children to be successful and prosperous. Parents have the obligation to help guide their children through life, and instill in them the lessons and wisdom they have acquired during their many years of living, contributing advice and personal insight on what they think is best for their children based on their own life experiences. 

Most parents want their children to make decisions that lead to healthy, social and academically enriched lives, in spite of what the kids themselves want. 

Unfortunately, for many students, they are pushed to achieve these aspects of life, but only through approaches their parents see fit.

As the pandemic has prevailed, Americans have been given the freedom to choose whether or not to get vaccinated. Many parents were hesitant about getting their young children vaccinated due to limited initial data, but there were also parents who refused to let their teenage children get vaccinated despite the abundance of credible research. 

It is counterproductive to their children’s development of independence when they are denied the opportunity to propagate their own research, create and express their own viewpoint, and make their own decision on whether they want to be vaccinated or not. Receiving the COVID-19 vaccine is such an important, life-altering decision that can affect a child’s health and relationships. 

As kids grow into young adults, they develop the communication skills necessary to properly express their needs, and are able to independently dictate what is best for their health and wellbeing after reading up on reliable research. It is the parent’s job to step aside and give their teenage kids the freedom to express how they feel about their own body. 

Kids are also often faced with pressures from their parents to take certain classes in school and pursue certain career paths. 

In a parent’s mind, they would only see their behavior as love and concern for their child’s future, and dedication to the act of ensuring a bright future for their child. 

Many parents desperately want their kids to succeed, and have built it up in their mind that their kids need to take hard classes and have certain jobs in order to be successful. 

Many parents tend to ignore the personal goals, wishes and future aspirations of their kids because they are fixated on a certain idealistic vision where their child takes all AP classes in high school, applies to the top colleges in the country and is accepted, then goes on to become a doctor or a lawyer. 

However, in reality, their kids may be silently struggling because their passions are elsewhere and would completely change their priorites if they were not under so much parental pressure. These parents need to recognize that their children are unique individuals and have already found passions for themselves. It is not their job to sabotage their child’s future by passively forcing them into a life that they do not want to live.

Finally, parents need to stop believing that every relationship or friendship their child has, needs to have their approval. Every parent’s wish is for their child to befriend people who are genuine, kind, and above all else,  a positive influence on those around them. 

If a parent trusts their child and believes they have raised a kind and genuine positive influence, they need to be able to trust their child’s judgment of character. 

Parents can still give their kids their opinions on whether or not they think their child’s friends are the right people to spend time with, and of course step in if there is a serious problem or their child is in danger, but they cannot completely control their kid’s social life. 

If parents want their children to grow up and choose friends who are kind and positive influences, they need to teach and raise their children themselves to be benevolent and good-natured.