Where do Parents stand when it comes to selecting career for their children

Ankit Agrawal - Wednesday 6th March 2019 | Articles
parents role

A child looks up to his parents when asked about the HERO of his life. Parents are Role Models. Much of the inspirations are drawn from the way parents tackle their situations. On the other hand, parents too harbour unfulfilled aspirations which they look forward to materialising through their offspring. Inability to do so often leads to severe consequences when a child often draws himself into an impenetrable cocoon. And it takes innumerable efforts and huge time to ring in the lost harmony.

In the adolescence, a child constantly craves for independence, self-expression, approval and recognition. And it is here that parents knowingly or unknowingly impose their idea of success, their perception of a “respectable job” or a “perfect life” because they had a certain perspective of life.

Factors that parents should keep in mind while working towards a feasible plan

Following observations are to be kept in mind to ensure a workable plan towards success :

  • Building up awareness about new career options:  Over the past few decades, the market has been boasting of the myriad of career opportunities. Quite obviously, not many parents are conversant with the varieties and hence awareness needs to be there.

  • Need for skills and interest:   Parents should emphasize on evaluating the skills and their child’s interest to arrive at a balanced decision making. Once the strengths and weaknesses surface, checking compatibility for a particular set of job profiles gets easier and better-suited decisions are made.

  •  Be an influencer, not a dictator:  Parents need to play the role of influencers when a teenager experiences insecurity trying to figure out the answer of who he is and what he wants to do in life.

  • Need not to force decisions on the child:  Decisions forced devastate the thought process resulting in children often leaving midway, ushering in faltering self-confidence. So it is best to leave your child make the best choice.

  • Motivation:  A teenager is immensely enthused and motivated by his parents taking an active interest in his field. The child feels his parents’ love and acceptance through such gestures.

  • Remittance:  In the quest of a “perfect career” aimed at a “perfect life”, a child often chooses a high earning occupation as opposed to the call of his heart. Of course, getting a hefty package feels good but not at the cost of one’s aspiration.

  • Prioritizing informed decision-making over Peer Pressure:  The more successful peers seem to exert greater pressure. Parents do get swayed by the latest trending career paths and often end up disrupting the harmony of the child’s decision-making. It becomes vital to have a decent knowledge of the fields before pushing their child in it.

  • Mistake makes Master:  Children are shielded from making mistakes pertaining to the fact that a child is to be guided from the pitfalls that the parents had once encountered. But it is the inevitable hiccups along the journey that would eventually reap his benefits.

  How should parents proceed towards being

  • The child must be assured that it is completely alright to be unsure of his prevailing future.

  • To build the atmosphere of confidence, parents should take into account the strengths, weaknesses and his aptitude before making any decision.

  • Initiatives are to be taken by parents to explain the nature of work associated with the various professions putting equal emphasis on both pros and cons.

  • In the case of indecision, parents should consult a trained professional career counsellor who can unfold the various informed career paths based on the child’s potential.

  • Motivation and support of parents play a vital role in encouraging a child to follow his dreams by accompanying him on his journey. They are to be motivated to think outside the box to explore career interests and encouraging the child to be realistic

  • Parents should shield themselves as well as their child from the evils of herd mentality and peer pressure to ensure a healthy decision making based on the childs passion.

  • Children should be taught to become proactive and not reactive.

  • Attending workshops and events related to the fields would help widen his field of interests. Career assessments help narrow career options a child may not have considered. Through consecutive sessions, over time, preferences change, letting the child arrive at his final destination.

  • Communication channels should be functional either way so as to bridge the gap because every individual needs enough time, space and assurance to pour his heart out.

How should parents avoid being dictators?

  • Disregarding a career option owing to less awareness or because the society deems it unconventional doesn’t make sense.

  • Over-involvement in the decision- making process can undermine parental effects as a positive source of influence.

  • Decision-making should not be based on half-baked knowledge about each of the options available which otherwise increases the chances of misguidance.

  • Forcing decisions is to be strictly ruled out owing to the irreversible damages it makes to the young brains.

  • Parents should not stick to the age-old notion of the high-earning occupations involving incomparable competition in contrast to the less competitive fields. These less known fields to hold the capability to churn out appreciable revenue.

  • Most importantly, parents should discard forming an impression based on other’s views which is likely to influence a child in his decision-making.

  • Lack of patience and encouraging unreal expectations have a huge toll on the all-round well being of a child. Such an outlook should be done away with at the earliest.

 How should Parents ensure a sound career selection procedure?

The helplessness that a child feels amidst the confusion of whether to listen to his heart or to be run by his parents’ desire is hugely impactful. There are even times when a youth feels completely lost in the sea of opportunities. It is at such trying times that they long for support and strength to arrive at the best consensus. This is where the parents are required to play a huge role in instilling that confidence and lighting up hope by exploring the options themselves patiently. It is normal for a child to go wrong but it is the onus of parents to reason their choices before actually demotivating them. So once a stable communication channel gets actively functional, a teen can be exposed to various career options. Parents may help him start to develop a network for the future, infusing the realistic views. If a teen wants to be a lawyer, he ought to be introduced to the peer who happens to be an attorney. Through an interactive session, he would get to explore the field of law to determine his field of interest. The feeling of support and love instils more confidence in their ability to research and choose a career that would fit them the best.

Final Scenario

Fortunately, parents, these days hold a liberal view when it comes to defining mainstream career opportunities. In fact, perspectives have widened.  Parents are now able to realize that things are not as murkier as they appear. Hence, they are more willing to embrace ideas unheard of. Of course, there is still some resistance to more unusual choices. It is at this juncture that the leading Career Counselling platforms like Edumilestones are striving to go that extra mile to spread the much-awaited awareness to bring about a radical change in the thought process of the parents. Through the scientific approach and optimised use of technology, psychometric tests evaluate a child’s aptitude coupled with his interests. Detailed research information is provided to make sure the career paths chosen fits bill followed by an intense counselling session where unbiased views help parents form holistic views.  Therefore as long as parents see a ‘do-able plan of action’ they will be open to more such idea.

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