Letting children choose their career
They say the most talked about topics in any part of the world are weather and politics! However, if you talk to parents anywhere, then obviously their children’s career would be the most discussed topic.
There is no doubt that parents are always preoccupied with the need to plan ahead for their child’s future. Right from the day the child begins to walk, they open a planner in their mind – Which language medium to choose… Which school to join… Which syllabus – State, CBSE, ICSE… What type of hobbies to inculcate – sports, music, dance… and finally, which career to focus on – engineering, medical, management, etc!
The biggest anxiety among all parents is if their children will grow up to do better academically and be successful in their career. This worry constantly emerges in the backs of their heads and affects every action the parents undertake.
Most people are currently working in jobs that they are neither interested in nor care about. The factors that got them to the position they’re in vary from uncontrollable circumstances that landed them there to fear of being unemployed to being forced into a profession they hate but their parents believed would make them rich and successful.
Every so often, episodes are inescapable and there’s little that can be done about it, fear of being unemployed is a personal battle that one must overcome themselves, but each of us can end the circle of pushing children into careers they detest.
Do parents directly influence their children’s careers?
Many parents don’t even realize that they’re nudging their children toward certain career paths. There are one set of parents who have a simple desire – their child should achieve excellence in academics and get a good career so that it can support them in their old age. A child can make a good a career in any field, however, the problem begins when a parent decides to make her child an engineer or a doctor early in childhood. From then on, every step the child takes must be oriented towards achieving the end goal. The child has to focus on academic studies and side-line everything else. These children usually don’t ever get a say about what they will become and spend their entire lives doing something they disfavor.
There is another set of parents who want their child to be a super achiever in everything. These are the ones who will push their child to center stage in every get together to perform in front of everyone. Such parents put enormous pressure on their child to score high marks in academics, achieve excellence in sports and in extra-curricular activities as well. With the explosion of reality shows on TV and the internet, parents push their children to excel so that they gain bask in their reflected glory. Obviously, every child is differently skilled and cannot be judged on the same measurement scale.
OK, am I professing that parents should show complete lack of interest in their child’s career… they should not be bothered even when their children go astray… Surely no! When I say over-parenting is dangerous for a child’s growth, I am not advocating under-parenting either! We need to provide the right learning environment, give enough guidance for our children to do the task themselves, and resist from interfering in their daily activities. Here best preschool or daycare also can help you to see the growth of your child and understand the requirement of children interest to choose the correct career
“Children have aspirations but less ability to choose the best career option to pursue. Parents on the other hand have personal experiences and complete knowledge about their children, they can, hence, guide them in making the best choice regarding their future,” however not choose a career for them.
Having said this, Parents serve as a major influence in their children’s career development and career decision- making. This is somewhere important because studies show that an adolescent who feel competent regarding career decision-making, tend to make more satisfying career choices later in life.
Understanding that children are usually not proficient at picking careers. Instead of selecting a career path for your child, presenting the range of career choices that exist in the world today would be a much better alternative. If a child under no external influence is allowed to choose a career path, even if the path chosen is not what makes them truly happy it will probably be close enough to their perfect career and a switch to that career would be much easier than a switch from a career path that their parents chose for them. You are right to an extent, but a pre-school can help your lovely child with future academic and social success.
In order of most to least popular, parents ranked the relative importance of each attribute this way: responsibility, hard work, helping others, good manners, independence, creativity, empathy for others, tolerance, persistence, curiosity, obedience and religious faith is what a parent chooses while deciding a child’s future.
Do’s and Don’ts for helping children find the career that will best suit them.
- DO: Support. DON’T: Hover.
- DO: Speak the language. DON’T: Speak for them.
- DO: Identify strengths. DON’T: Identify careers.
- DO: Tap lists of careers.
- DO: Use your network.
- DO: Encourage summer internships.
- DO: Push passion
If a child can excel in any career, how do we know if it has made the right choice? The best way is to allow children to explore all options such as dance, music, sports, math, science, arts etc. and then let them decide what career suits them the best. For instance, just because everyone else in the school learns to play cricket, that does not mean your child should not try its hand in chess. It is all about the right skills and the interest coming together.
How do we allow children to learn skills by themselves and not push them to do it, simple, allow them to explore rather than teach through books. “A child is a learning machine. A child wants to do things, discover stuff and show it to us. But it’s always the other way round, we just want to finish a book cover to cover. With that we also finish the child!”
Presenting every career path available while trying to avoid influencing children’s career choice is a tough line to walk. However, parents can introduce their children to as many sectors as possible thereby granting their children an introduction to many fields. The not influencing their choice part of this strategy is still up to parents to honor.
- If there is there a photography workshop this weekend? Take your child to it
- Basics of chemistry session for kids? Enroll your child in it.
- A new mechanical kit with raving reviews? Let your child try it.
- A drama workshop? Drive them there.
Your child might hate many of these but their exposure to this field and decision to despise it now is far better than them having gone to university to learn about the same field and then despising their job for years.
This is a neat way to give your child a taste of many career paths and let them decide for themselves.
If your child discovers what they truly love at an early age, it also gives them an extreme head-start at learning about the field. This is an advantage that most kids miss out on.
As parents let’s take an oath that we will allow our children to grow independently and have the right to choose their career. We will help them to choose the best play school in Pune so that they will have great beginning of there life.