FACT Zimbabwe implements the Families Matter Programme a curricular based intervention which seeks to build strong healthy relationships between parents and their children. The programme seeks to ensure parents and children communicate with each other and reach a common understanding beneficial for both parties. This article seeks to explore the role of parents in helping children realise their life goals and also respond to some Frequently Asked Questions.

The Pyramid of Success

The Pyramid of Success is a depiction used to help explain the attributes needed for children to accomplish their life goals. It spells out what is expected from parents to ensure success of their children, and the necessary child characteristics, which are the qualities, values, attitudes and behaviours that children need to adopt to help them achieve their life goals- with of course parents playing a key guiding role.

Are parents and the community the driving force behind the foundation for success of children?

Indeed it is the parents who should be the role models of what it takes to be successful, who should communicate skillfully and openly with their children and teach them values, good behaviour and help them make healthy choices. They are the children’s first, readily available and most important teachers. In African tradition it is said that it takes a community to raise a child. What the child learns from the family setup the community is there to harness and ensure children grow into adults with a sense of belonging and also contributing to the development of the community.

Is it the right thing to do for parents or guardians to choose a career  for a child?

Parents role is not to impose choices especially about careers to their children but they should in turn guide and support the child in decision making and also appreciating the child’s competences. Children should be given freedom to pursue a career path of their choice. A job which excites them so that they give it their best. Instead, parents are obliged to guide children make healthy choices and informed decisions about their careers and provide the necessary guidance towards the attainment of their goals.

Can we really talk of a child not good at anything, or it is about useless careers?

Every child is special in his/ her own way and can bring great pride to themselves, the family and community. Musicians, footballers, athletes, farmers, politicians etc.- all are different individuals with different careers with great success stories. Parents should help children identify their talents and passion and help their children direct their energies along that path.

Who is obliged to benefit from the success of a child?

The child belongs to him or herself, the family, the community and the country. Their success gives self-pride, family pride, community pride and national pride.