Being a parent is not an easy task. There are so many responsibilities attached to being a parent; guidance being one of them. Every parent wants to their child(ren) to be happy and successful and one of the things that brings about that happiness and success is career choice.
Parents influence the level of education or training that their children achieve; they influence the knowledge they have about work and different occupations; the beliefs and attitudes they have to work, and the motivation they have to succeed. Most of these are learned unconsciously – children and teenagers absorb their parent’s attitudes and expectations as they grow up. One of the things that influence a child’s career choice is the expectation of parents for their children’s career and education.
Choosing a career is an extremely important decision that impacts a child’s entire future, so parents can become stressed. And in being stressed, they tend to make the mistake of dictating instead of aiding the decision-making process.
THE WRONG REASONS WHY SOME PARENTS MAKE THE CAREER CHOOSING DECISIONS
LIVING THEIR DREAMS THROUGH THEIR CHILDREN: When a career is being imposed on a child by his or her parent, the child might do it but not have the sense of fulfillment he or she will have when doing a career of his or her choice which may lead to bitterness and in so doing, when the individual grows up, gets married, and has a child of his own, he or she will also impose his own choice of career that he couldn’t achieve on his or her child who is not even supposed to be in that career field. This will go on and on creating a generation of people with a sense of fulfillment if not broken.
THE PRESTIGE OF THE FAMILY: Some parent want their children to study medicine and surgery while some want their children to study law, others want their children to be a scientist or an engineer. Why? Because they feel like it is the most respected profession and it will bring pride and honor to the family name. While different careers have their different names, I believe there is no career that does not have its importance in society.
Successor: Some parents want somebody who will continue his or her achievement or preserve the family’s legacy while neglecting the fact that the child has a different career choice in mind which is quite different from what the parent has planned for him.
THINGS PARENTS SHOULD DO WHILE GUIDING THEIR CHILDREN TO THEIR RIGHT CAREER
Parents should aid the decision-making process and not dictate it. It is true parents want the best for their children and tends to think that solely making the decision on the career part for their child is to the child’s own advantage while neglecting the opinion of the child. It is important to take into consideration the opinion of the child while guiding him or her along the way.
Moreover, every child needs the support of someone, be it their guardian or their parent. As a parent, your child needs your support so every word of advice and support you give your child matters a lot and determines how the child sees himself or herself i.e if the child will have high self-esteem or low self-esteem.
Helping your child discover his or her skills is also an important thing to do while guiding your child to their right career path. A child might get confused about his career choice but as a parent, it is your duty to help your child discover his or her skill. You can discover your child’s skills by signing him up for different extra-curricula activities, making the child go for an aptitude test by professionals, etc. After doing this, you can then study your child. By studying your child, you notice his or her weakness, strengths, interest, or talent. For instance, you may notice your child faints at the sight of blood, studying medicine and surgery may not be the best option. Encourage your child’s ambition and career choice. When you see your child is talented, it is a good thing. Help nurture the child’s talent and interest and in nurturing it, your child will thrive, find success, and a sense of fulfillment along with it.
Further, enlighten your child on the career choice. Although your child might have chosen his career choice, he may not know in detail what the career entails, other job opportunities attached to that career, or why he is even going for that career choice. So it is your duty as a parent and guardian to further enlighten your child on the career choice and guide him through the right path. While enlightening your child, maintain a close relationship with your child, it is very important. It helps your child have the trust to tell you all about how his or her day went, the type of friends he or she keeps keep, and the types of advice those friends give. This will give you room to advise and guide your child from falling prey to bad advice from peer pressure.
Talking to your child’s teacher, educator, caregivers or instructor can give you a great idea about your child’s interests and abilities. It can also help in the understanding of your child and you will be surprised.
Lastly, seeking a counselor’s help when required is also important. when you feel like you don’t know what to do or your child is confused about certain decisions to make, and you also don’t know the decision to make, seek professional help like that of a counselor.
The decisions a child makes in his or her early stages in life e.g. the subject they choose to study, the university, college or institution they choose to study at or the courses they choose to study, has a great impact in shaping their future or can make an impact in their career path. So the decision of career choice is a decision that has to be taken seriously and chosen wisely with enough guidance and support if not, poor choices will be made.
Every child is special and has his or her own passion, skills, talent, and ambition. With this in mind as a parent, forcing a similar career on each child may not be the right course of action.
Parents usually say pick a course that you think will bring more money or pick a course that can thrive in your country. Though it looks like it is in the child’s best interest, parents need to give their children time to discover themselves, find their footing and find their passion. For example, science is not for everyone so art and commercial are not for everyone. By giving your child time to understand himself while guiding him, the child can thrive better in success. The most important thing is to guide your child to self-discovery and then from there, their potentials can be developed.
HOW TO DISCOVER YOUR CHILD´S ABILITY
Are you having difficulty discovering your child’s ability? Don’t worry there are different ways to discover a child’s ability. You can evaluate your child’s ability and intelligence by having your child takes an intelligence test i.e an IQ test. An IQ test is designed to give you a general idea of your child’s level of intelligence and is just conducted to measure broad intelligence and not general intelligence. Note that IQ testing may not give you an accurate or general reading of your child’s ability so it has to be used together with other methods of evaluation to be able to get the full scope of your child’s abilities.
Similarly, signing your child up for an aptitude test is another way to discover your child’s ability. An aptitude test is a systematic means of testing a person´s abilities to perform specific tasks and react to a range of different situations. In this, many aptitude tests are different than IQ tests in that they will give you a better idea of your child’s ability to master certain subjects, skills, or ways of thinking. Evaluating your child’s grade is also an important way of discovering your child’s ability. You can do this by gathering your child’s current and past results or grades from time to time and evaluating (studying or assessing) them. Try to look at the patterns in certain subject areas over time. This will give you an idea about your child’s ability. Note that while grades give you an idea of the child’s ability, it also gives you an idea of the child’s interest.
While evaluating your child’s grades, communicating with your child’s educator, instructor or care giver is also very essential because they spend more time in an educational or monitoring capacity with your child. Therefore your child’s teacher or supervisor can give you a great idea about your child’s ability. You can learn more about the abilities of your child by attending PTA meetings or scheduling a meeting with your child’s teacher. While in the meeting you can ask if they have noticed anything special about your child or why your child is having difficulty in some subject and other questions pertaining to the academic performance and behavior of your child.
Furthermore signing up your child for different extra-curricular activities is another good way to discover your child’s abilities, skills, and interests either in school or outside the school environment and this can be done formally or informally. This way you can see what your child is interested in the most. There are different things you may consider signing your child up for like sports, artistic activities, and intellectual activities like debates, etc. While signing up for extra-curricular activities make sure your child is not too committed and still has time for another thing like school activities and being a kid.
After signing up your child for extra-curricular activities, you can observe the child and see if he has developed an interest in a particular activity. Talk to your child about what he or she likes to do or what he is good at because I believe every child is good at something, you just have to find out what it is. Ask your child questions related to his academic performance and outside his academic performance like the subject he excels at the most and the subject he enjoys the most. Note that there is a difference between enjoying because you love the subject and excelling because you know it. What game your child enjoys the most, etc.
Have you ever linked your child’s behavior to what career choice is likely best suited for the child? If not, then think about the child’s interpersonal abilities. Interpersonal intelligence is the ability to understand and interact effectively with others. It involves effective verbal and nonverbal communication, the ability to note distinctions among others, sensitivity to the moods and temperaments of others, and the ability to entertain multiple perspectives. Not everyone is gifted with this ability. So if your child is gifted with such, they might enjoy leadership or organizing efforts. Your child might also have a career in sales, leadership, or politics in store for them.
If your child does not have Interpersonally inclined, then he is likely to have an intrapersonal ability which is a good thing because Children with high intrapersonal intelligence potential have an idea of what they want to achieve and how they can achieve it. Children with intrapersonal intelligence often score higher in other types of intelligence too. Intrapersonal intelligence is the capacity to explore one’s inner world and feelings. This type of intelligence can help a person focus on planning and managing their life.
IN CONCLUSION: Each child is special and has their different interest, ability, skill, and talent. With the right parental guidance, success, happiness, and a sense of fulfillment in their career are achievable.