It’s always obvious on the bleachers or on the sidelines of school sporting events. A red-faced father screaming for his child to run harder, push stronger, play better, making a spectacle of himself as he lives through his kid’s sweat.
Toxic parenthood has many faces, and while it may be less obvious in academics, the fact that many parents live through their children’s educational achievements isn’t exactly a secret. This problem has been thrust to the forefront of American consciousness over the past three weeks as many affluent and celebrity families were revealed to have bribed the college admissions staff of several high-ranking colleges into enrolling their children with no questions asked.
Media outlets on both sides of the political spectrum have universally panned the situation as indicative of a privilege singular to the financially elite. However, these cases denote much more than mere economic disparity. Amidst a culture that values status over achievement and character, the selfish, ego-driven parenting is becoming the norm.
According to sources representing Olivia Jade, daughter of accused briber Lori Laughlin, Jade is “really angry with her parents because she told them she did not want to go to college, and she was pushed.” In this way, Jade is like many individuals told what to be and how to be it by parents emphasizing a college track for their own self-promotion.
Told what to be, mind you, not in honest love or in familial caring, but for the selfish reasons of legacy and reputation of family. Jade, who is already a hyper-successful YouTube influencer, hardly needs a degree to make a living and didn’t want to attend college.
Continuing education is a service that should be available to all those who wish to pursue it. Shoving those who aren’t interested toward an academic path once they fully understand the implications of college as an option does a disservice to the individual in favor of family name. Jade was “pushed” into academics for the wrong reasons.
This notion of family as a hierarchy, that the offspring must live up to a standard of legacy in order to make the older generation of the family look good is a belief that needs to die.
College may be defined as an institution of learning, but it is also a time. It is an era of self-actualization for students, making experimentation regarding profession and calling a must. Toxic parenthood quells this. Children are more than the predetermined dreams of their parents