Whether you know it or not, you have a major influence over your child’s career choices. As a parent you are your child’s first teacher and biggest example of what life is and how it should be lived. Naturally, you want your child to gravitate towards the career path that will make them happiest, but they may need a bit of guidance from you to get there.
Your child will likely go through a ton of ideas from the time they’re little. One day it’s a doctor or lawyer, the next it’s a teacher or police officer. However, once your child reaches high school they are coming into themselves and understand more of what their interests are. It is during these years that you can be the most influential in helping them to make the best choices as it pertains to a career path.
Below are some tips to consider:
Encourage Them to Explore
The world as we know it is constantly evolving and there are many new career fields being created constantly. It is important when your child is in high school to encourage them to explore various options. Introduce them to the various career paths there are out there. Here’s how to encourage exploration:
• Check out college websites to find out what degree programs they offer and the career paths your child could take once obtaining a degree. If they were interested in something like becoming a guidance counselor, you might recommend they look at options like a master's in school counseling online at GwyneddMercy University.
• Enroll them in school programs or extracurricular activities in the community that encourage the exploration of non-academic talents. This might include an art or science club or even a local sports team or dance school. The more exposure they have the more they can tap into their own talents, which would ultimately help them in choosing the best career.
• Attend local career fairs. Even if your teen isn’t old enough to apply for a position, allowing them to talk with employers and find out more about various positions is a great way to broaden their horizons.
Share Your Own Experiences
Remember, you are your child’s biggest role model (even if they won’t admit it). Talk with your teen about your career choice. Discuss how you came to make this decision, whether you like the path you chose, what you might do differently and so on. Since you have firsthand experience, your teen will be interested in learning from you. Keep in mind however; your teen has to choose their own path so while you may use your career as an example you should never make them feel pressured to follow your footsteps exactly.
Work with Educators and Counselors
By the time your teen reaches high school they have guidancecounselors who help them in making career decisions. Reach out to the guidance counselor to find out what types of things they would recommend. They often have a plethora of resources that you can draw from so that you both are working collectively to help your teen secure a bright future.
Don’t Be Too Strict
Not every teenager is going to know what it is they want to do with their life. Heck, some of us don’t figure it out until we’ve tried a few things and decided we didn’t like it. With that being said, it is important that you don’t lay the pressure on too thick. They are still children learning about themselves and pushing too much could cause them to shut down altogether. Enjoy the journey, provide support, and allow them to be the driver of their own destinies.
As moms we most certainly want what is best for our children – now and when they become adults. As you embark on the journey of career exploration with your teens, be supportive, stay open minded, and most importantly don’t overdo it. At the end of the day, it’s all about making sure that our children are happy with life.