From reading to infants to helping with schoolwork to enunciating values as the child grows, parents exert enormous influence over their children's development, success, and overall happiness. They are, however, not the only influences—especially after children enter school and begin interacting with the world at large.
It's especially important that parents work to give children the best start possible, but it's also important for parents to recognize that kids come into the world with their own temperaments, personalities, and goals. Ultimately, while parents may want to push their child down a certain path, a parents' job is to provide an interface with the world that eventually prepares a child for complete independence and the ability to pursue whatever path they choose.
In a rapidly changing world—especially one where children's milestones and accomplishments are often shared on social media—parenting seems subject to fads and changing styles, and parenting in some ways has become a competitive sport. But the needs of child development as delineated by science remain relatively stable: safety, structure, support, and love.