The choice of career for your child is a crucial question in the mind of every parent. As a parent you want your child to find happiness and success in life and a major factor which influences this is career choice. Research also indicates that when students feel supported and loved by their parents, they have more confidence in their own ability to research careers and choose a career that would be interesting and exciting. This is important because studies show that adolescents who feel competent regarding career decision-making, tend to make more satisfying career choices later in life. Parents influence the level of education or training their children achieve; the knowledge about work and different occupations; the beliefs and attitudes to work; and the motivation to succeed impact their choices. Most of this is learned unconsciously – children and teenagers absorb their parent’s attitudes and expectations of them as they grow up.
Some of the key influences are:
- The expectations parents have for their children’s education and career.
- The example they set for their children.
- The values they display to their family, friends and to society.
- The opportunities they offer their children to learn and develop.
- The kind of parent-child relationship they develop
Choosing a career is an extremely important decision that impacts an individual’s entire future, and can be stressful. It is important to stay positive otherwise it can become a stressful time for all involved. Parents unwittingly can make the past seem perfect and the future terrifying. As a parent you should guard against shooting down ideas your children may have about their future careers. If you react negatively, it may shut down the whole exploration process. You also need to keep the lines of communication open, and encourage your child to gather as much information as possible on career interest areas. A parent must recognize that their role is simply to act as a facilitator in their child’s career journey allowing independent career choices to mark a young persons first step into adulthood.
Tips to help your child’s career development:
- Encourage your children to get as much education as possible.
- Help them to discover their innate talents and skills.
- Develop their knowledge of the world of work.
- Teach them decision- making skills.
- Become aware of career resources/ education and training opportunities.
- Observe the effects of work experience.