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Martha Edwards: Parents & the Career Choice Process



When I was about to enter into the university, I was going through the courses available in my school of choice with my dad. He stopped at marketing and said: this is a very good course, you should go for it. Me? Marketing? No way. Daddy asked why? “Have you forgotten I’m the worst mathematics student on earth I asked?” His reply was: “you can survive it.” Then I made my final statement: “if you want me to go for it, I will. Though we both know I’m not sound in mathematics. I’m saying this today; if I FAIL in flying colours after studying marketing for you, invariably wasting your hard earned money spent on my education, DON’T blame me.” He looked at me and said: “do whatever you feel like doing BUT make sure you don’t fail, because if you fail, I’ll do a lot worse than blame you.”

I’ve seen and heard a lot of people complain about their courses of study and their dislike for them. Not searching too far, I have a friend who loved and still loves accounting, but her mum a single parent wants her to study medicine and become a doctor because she is a nurse. I hear this medical thing is either a FAIL or PASS situation, no middle ground. She struggled through secondary school, and is now struggling in the university. This friend of mine is in her third year university since the year she got into one and it’s about 5 years now. There’s always a story that moves her from one school to another school.

There are a lot of parents who think some courses are not good enough for their children or do not hold water. (I stand to be corrected). I once overheard a parent telling her child who wanted to study sociology or rather had a passion for the course that it was a waste of time. I had to jump into the conversation though uninvited (pardon my manners, the matter was a very crucial one) that sociology is a very beautiful course with a lot prospects. Any course that has a relationship with man and his environment is never a waste. It can never fade out.
Many times, parents stop their children from pursuing their dreams either educationally or vocationally because of their own bias opinions. I’m not saying our parents do not know what they are saying or doing, they definitely do due to their vast experiences and they always want the best for us. What I am saying is; when push comes to shove, and a life determining decision has to be made, let the children make their own choices.
A lot of children want to be actors, writers, musicians, health givers, volunteer workers and a whole lot of other things. Some just want to step out of the normal family “lawyer” “doctor” order. But their parents are a great stumbling block to them. Some go as far as refusing to sponsor their education or even throwing them out of the house, thereby leaving them with the option of having a roof over their and forgetting their dreams or pursuing their dreams and become homeless and without support.

Let us look at America’s got Talent’s Heavenly Joy. She’s five years old and a beautiful singer. I can say categorically that some parents would have stopped their child from contesting or created shyness and low self esteem in their child out of their words and actions.

All these in my opinion are very wrong. Let the child be what he or she wants to be. Give your advice, support and prayers even though the choice doesn’t suit you. Chances are you’d be happy you allowed that child make the decision.
Remember, one very necessary ingredient for SUCCESS is PASSION. If you have a passion for what you do or you’re doing or you want to do, it’ll drive you to super duper achievements.

I’ll wrap this up with a quote from Dr. Shad Helmstetter’s book titled choices. It says: “The highest levels are mostly certainly filled with those who chose to be there.” Let us make our choices, and we definitely won’t disappoint you.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Michael Zhang

Martha Edward loves to read, write, disturb her friends and family members, watch movies and tackle challenges and she also loves music. She has a passion for motivating people. Facebook: Martha Edward, instagram: miz_edward, twitter: Ms_Eddie.


  1. Nammy

    July 21, 2015 at 3:54 pm

    More parents are now coming to terms with the fact that they shld not shove a particular career down a child’s throat Though we still have the “you must read this or that parents” they are gradually being faced out nd replaced with “I support whatever decision you take” parents

  2. Kafui

    July 21, 2015 at 4:26 pm

    Nice article….my dad wants me to become a doctor and my mum wants me to become a nurse…..i,on the other hand want to become a lecturer .i hate hospitals and the scent of medicine makes me nauseous….i’m so impatient to even imagine myself working in the healthcare sector..’if u refuse to take ur medication,u wil die oo’-that’s wat i’m gonna tell my patients should i become a Doc or nurse…..i recently got admission to the university to study communication…thanks fr the article ,Martha..

  3. Jo!

    July 21, 2015 at 4:49 pm

    Marketing? Maths?

    • chifire

      July 21, 2015 at 5:55 pm

      Yes maths….statistics.

  4. Ngozi

    July 21, 2015 at 5:07 pm

    I like the article above because she included the need for their advice, support and prayers. Children also have to pray to God for divine wisdom. Parenting can be difficult because parents are human and can’t see the end from the beginning. Some parents have misled their children while others have led them right. You don’t want a child to study a course that the child will actually regret later in life, everything comes back to you as a parent even when your child is forty. (Please don’t get me wrong , a 40yr old cannot be treated like a 10yr old, all the same we don’t want o watch our children degenerate even at 40.). Whatever affects them affects us more. For example, my mum’s advice helped me a lot in career choice and marriage but can I really make that law for all the peoples of the earth when in some cases an uncle’s advice has given greater success. How can I explain the fact that parents can be right and wrong. It’s too complicated.
    Secondly, I laugh when people talk about peer pressure as though it’s something that jumps on you at the age of 5 and leaves you at age 30 thereabout. A person who does not have strength of inner character will continue to battle with this issue even as a parent. How do you explain to the people in your group, family, community etc that your child is doing this course in this College or Uni and not that other course in that college or Uni. Have you ever celebrated a child’s achievement, the feeling is out of this world. I feel for parents a lot and will keep praying that they are strong enough to make the right decisions.

  5. Tumi

    July 21, 2015 at 5:21 pm

    I can relate. One day an aunty took me out to visit her co-worker, a lawyer turned psychiatric nurse in the US. This issue came up and she said ‘I will personally supervise their courses o, there are some courses you do in this country that won’t get you any meaningful job quickly’ This statement got me thinking, and then a little confused. Is she right or wrong? This woman is a hard worker of course, four children and was heavily pregnant when she studied and wrote exams, she passed her exams. Her statement stuck in my brain for days and I could not argue. This is the heart of a woman who though lives in a huge house and earns some form of good pay but will not allow her children to earn less in life. She said the two oldest will be doctors. Guess they don’t have to be doctors to be great in life or get good jobs. To be honest, it can be complicated and what if those boys actually develop the love for medicine as a result of the course being constantly mentioned within their environment. Should we also say that it was passively shoved down their throat? It can be complicated.

    • Tumi

      July 21, 2015 at 5:30 pm

      NB: She was a lawyer in Nigeria.

  6. Toyin

    July 21, 2015 at 5:46 pm

    Hmnn. I just hope that the course you want to do brings honor and not shame or failure to you. In my own opinion, it’s more complicated when your own way does not work for you and you have no fruits to show. Please don’t let it happen so that your parents don’t come back to say ‘we told you so’ Do all you can to excel in that way. I have heard two actresses who went to study first as their parents instructed. Those actresses are not actresses of mean stature right now. I don’ know everything but I just pray that God helps me make excellent decisions in life. Don’t want regrets, delays or time wasting ventures. So help me God. If I am going wrong, please send people to me. Parents, Pastors, mentors, friends etc. and if my way is right please don’t let me listen to anybody.

  7. NAYDU

    July 21, 2015 at 9:08 pm

    True….I was forced to study anoda course in school….the school didn’t offer my preferred course bt ma dad insisted on that school cos ma cousin wud also b attending d school……. wellll….ADVICE, SUPPORT N PRAYERS r d best u can give ur kids…..cos u wont b d one writing d tests, exams n projects……
    Nice one Mathias ore mi…….

  8. Olamide Adeyanju

    July 21, 2015 at 9:31 pm

    Martha Edward,great write up,keep it up. Students should be left to do what they have passion for but should be adviced by parents,especially when you have godly parents,you can be successful at doing anything you truly have passion for.

  9. Hannah

    July 21, 2015 at 9:44 pm

    Brilliant write up Martha. Keep it up

  10. Martha

    July 21, 2015 at 9:49 pm

    Thanks Toyin. The course I chose brought me honour and my parents were super proud of me. Thanks everyone.

  11. Toye

    July 21, 2015 at 10:35 pm

    Great write up Martha… some parents shld learn to accept appreciate n groom their children’s dream, not riding it with theirs….or selfish interests… thumbs up Martha!!

  12. Anietie M. Danny

    July 22, 2015 at 9:32 am

    A ghud write up frm u Martha….in my own case,my. Parents never had a say in my choice of career even in my choice of institution I took my decisions my self except for d fact that my mum wnts me to b in d military even uptil now she is stil on it..The best parents can do for their children is to give them parental guardian n counseln n live dem to mk their decisions..Martha. If u can recall,even at jss3 we attended career week to help us mk our decision s then

    • Tola

      July 23, 2015 at 4:03 pm

      Hmnn. Being in the military is serious o. I am not saying other courses can be managed please but being in the military is not a joke. I visited someone in an army base. Was too stunned. If you are not sure about anything in life, be extremely sure about joining the army or not

    • Toke

      July 23, 2015 at 4:07 pm

      The amazing thing about this life is the fact that everyone will thread different path. I pray we find our God given purposes early in life and not ramble purposelessly. I also pray for the grace to embrace it whether our parents have discovered it or not. The insight to be clear always and know whether mum and dad are wrong or right is great treasure.

  13. Ogamazi

    July 23, 2015 at 4:34 pm

    Parenting I perceive isn’t or won’t be an easy task as I will be one in few weeks. *superexcited*. I think with proper supervision, guidance, prayers, support and encouragement our kids will turn out well both for us (family and for themselves).
    The problem of today’s parents is lack of time for our kids thereby making us unaware of their strengths and weaknesses in every area of life.
    Signed: Ogamazi

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