Are you constantly torn between being too involved in your child’s life and then being too uninvolved because your child thinks you’re pressuring him/her? Where do you draw the line? As parents, the thought of your child having a successful career and a happy life is going to run through your mind all the time. The role of parents in choosing a career certainly doesn’t help when the child is whimsical or disinterested in most of the things. Additional fear of pressuring your ward too much makes you nervous as well. You keep coming back to the single question about how you can help your offspring in their career choices.
Having a successful life means differently to every person. Most parents have created an unfaltering definition of success and what constitutes a successful life. This definition is created over several years of struggle and experiences. You don’t want your children to make the mistakes you made, or go through the struggle that you experienced. Although it is to be noted that this shield could make your child’s career life even more difficult. You have to realise that hurdles are crucial for any person to become street smart and deal with life in a better manner. You, as parents, need to guide your children when they make mistakes. Pick them up when they fall.
*Do Any of These Thoughts Cross Your Mind?
- “I am a parent. I know what is right for my child.”
- “I don’t want my child to make the mistakes I have made in the past.”
- “I want my child to pursue _(career)_ because I never got to pursue it.”
- “My child can do anything he/she wants, just not this one career which I don’t like.”
- “Whatever my child wants to do is his/her wish, fine by me.”
- “It’s not my role to decide; it’s my wife/husband’s job.”
- “I don’t know anything about this; my child’s teacher will take care of it.”
If yes, you need to reconsider your approach towards your child’s career choice selection. The perfect balance is when you actively listen to your child’s plan and help them throughout the process. Assist them in identifying their interests, research about those interests, make suggestions, have healthy conversations, and do everything that is one step short of the final decision. The ultimate decision has to be made by your child because they are the ones who are going to study it for a long period of their lives.
Factors to be considered by Parents:
Parents, please never assume that your children can handle it all. They may be the most intelligent ones who are absolutely clear about what they want to pursue and where, but they still need parental support and guidance. The most important factors to consider are:
- Your ward’s interests.
- Their aptitude for those interests. Their interests, personality, strengths and weaknesses have to be in tandem for a successful career.
- Making an informed decision. There are hundreds of budding career choices. Hence, there is no need to stay in the comfort zone of a doctor, engineering, CA, and others. Your child can pursue several distinct courses like Fashion Technology, Advertising, Commercial Arts, etc. Explore all such options depending on your child’s interests. Under no circumstances should you fall a victim of herd mentality.
The Dos and Don’ts of Parenting in Making Career Choices:
- Always help your child in discovering where his/her passions lie and motivate them to pursue their passion.
- It always helps to prepare your child for the inevitable hardships. Don’t scare them. Sit them down and talk to them about it.
- Don’t let your child pursue something because their friends are doing it. Stop your child from falling prey to herd mentality.
- Do not burden your child with your expectations.
- Be patient with them. They need your absolute support at this point.
- Don’t live your life through your child. Do not impose your career choices on your ward.
- Don’t ever say, “I told you so” or “You should have listened to me”.
- Let your child know that they are fully accepted in their choices, no matter what.
- If you are unsure about certain career choices, research about it. Don’t misguide your child.
- Seek professional help from career counsellors whenever needed.
Always remember, the choices that your child makes is going to mould their future for a very long time. You would not want your child to live an unhappy life. Pressuring them into pursuing something they don’t really enjoy can negatively affect their mental health and easily lead to stress and depression. The process of career selection can be intensely taxing, but at the end of it, your child will follow what their heart says, where they are going to be happy. As parents, nothing comes above their kid’s happiness. Children tend to be impulsive. You need to deal with the whimsicality with patience. Know that there is no one definite course of action. While pursuing a master’s in a university might be the right choice for one person, another might be better off directly getting into the professional world and working.
Most of the people are not in the career course that they thought they would be at the age of 18. The world of career is extremely dynamic, and it is important to evolve with it. The trick is to educate children that life is about self-discovery and new skills. Let them know that new talents can be developed over time because nobody has a flair for everything since their birth. Comfort your child by helping them be proactive in their search when they don’t know what to do with their lives.
Are you a parent and looking to seek career counseling for parents to help your child in selecting the right career for himself/herself? You can seek career counseling from Mohit Mangal who is a renowned career counselor who provides career guidance for parents to help them play an active role in the decision to make a bright future for their child.