Parents admit they live their lives vicariously through their children by encouraging them to hit the highs in sports and hobbies which they never achieved. In fact, researchers have found that nearly half of parents interviewed had 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 percent said they encouraged them to pursue certain subjects at school or college because they personally enjoyed them.
The poll, which was conducted by UK skincare brand, Simple, and questioned 2000 parents, found 38 percent of parents said there were things in life they had never achieved and therefore wanted their kids to pursue.
One in five parents admitted they push their kids 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.
More than one in 10 also confessed to pushing their child to do a sport or hobby that they didn’t want to do.
A further 30 percent of parents would actively encourage their child to take part in talent shows, while a third said pushing children made their dreams achievable.
"It is tempting for parents to lead their children towards certain hobbies and interests that they loved as a child, but it’s important for children to find their own way too," a spokeswoman for Simple said.
"Naturally everyone wants the best for their children and it’s understandable they need a nudge when it comes to releasing their potential."
The study also revealed that 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, while 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 that dads).
While parents admitted their guilt, 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. A more laidback 30 percent of mothers and fathers said they would never push their child to do something they didn’t want to.
"Some youngsters will need guidance from parents when it comes to making big life choices, whether it’s what interests to take part in, what subjects to study or choices about further education.
"If some parents feel they didn’t have the opportunities or chances to pursue things they wanted to as youngsters then it’s understandable that they then encourage their children to," said the spokeswoman.
The study also found that 68 percent of parents say they want better for their kids than they had, as nearly a third of those that completed the survey said that they wished their parents had spent more time ferrying them to and from classes or lessons.
Nearly three quarters have said they would never begrudge picking up and dropping off their children at numerous events and classes.
"Most parents have their children’s best interests at heart, but pushing them down a certain route they wanted to pursue can backfire.
"Children need to learn from their mistakes and as a parent you do have to stand back to some extent and let your children pursue their own goals and dreams."