The child talks about the first choices of “who will I be” in kindergarten. Usually, it rarely works, but it shows how important it is for a young person to decide what he will do in his professional life. The decision-making process begins in the family when the child observes the parents and their attitude to work. Then it extends to the farther family background. So how do parents influence their children’s career choices? What can they do to make the child choose the best according to their preferences? How to support a child in choosing a school.
Almost every child, when planning what to do after graduating from primary or secondary school, expects support from the parent. The decision he is facing will have ramifications in the future. A young person is only at the beginning of the road shaping identity, that is “who will I be?”
Due to the still immature brain structures (prefrontal lobes), the child needs parental support. Skills such as rational and thoughtful decision making based on arguments for and against, reflection and self-reflection, prioritizing (which is important, and less important) are still little available to a young person due to the immature prefrontal lobes. Therefore, the younger the child, the more he needs help and support from parents in planning his educational future.
It is worth remembering that although the choice of a school profile or field of study is an important decision, it is not the most important one, and the pressure exerted by parents or teachers does not help to make good choices.
What prevents parents from helping their children choose a school?
Many parents consciously avoid directing their children in choosing a school. They usually give the following arguments:
- They don’t want to interfere – “It’s his decision, not mine, he will go to this school, not me.”
- They do not want the child to blame them later that the parent gave the so-called “Bad advice.”
- They feel incompetent themselves, they know little about the profiles of schools or recruitment.
- They take the child’s autonomy too radically.
The worst thing a parent can do is say to their child, “Do what you want – it’s your choice, it’s your decision.” It results in loneliness, often a feeling of uncertainty and fear – I am alone, I cannot count on help.
How to wisely support a child? What to look for?
It is worth carrying out the so-called analysis of his achievements:
- Analyze the intellectual abilities of the child. Will he be able to cope with a school with higher educational requirements, e.g. high school or technical college, and what is it like with his learning abilities?
- Consider whether the child is ready for an educational effort related to learning, e.g. in high school.
- It is worth paying attention to the child’s grades in individual subjects, but also whether they like to learn them and whether they are interested in them. You have to ask yourself if the high school will want to learn biology in extension, which means 6-7 hours (and sometimes even more) of this subject per week (starting from the second grade).
- Consider the direction in which he is gifted – whether my child prefers to learn science or humanities, maybe he likes foreign languages, or maybe he is a born athlete, artist, etc.
Interests and passions.
- What does my child do in their spare time, even when they play games or watch YouTube videos, what content are they interested in?
- What does he watch on TV, what books does he read?
Perhaps she has some special skills in some field, e.g. she likes taking care of children, pets, designing clothes or her own room.
She loves to do makeup. Maybe he mixes music or likes cooking?
What extracurricular activities are or were you attending?
What is his health condition?
– for vocational schools (technical and trade schools) a doctor’s certificate is required that there are no contraindications to perform a given profession.
What is his temperament –
does he prefer to work in a group or individually (alone)? Would it prefer work preceded by a plan, rather predictable and calm, or one in which there is always something going on and it is really difficult to predict what the working day will look like?
In what professional areas is it more likely that it will work, e.g. at work:
- With people,
- With machines and devices,
- With nature, including animals,
- With numbers,
What else should you do?
- Go with your child to selected schools for an open day and check how the child feels at the school.
- Find out as much as possible about a given profession if the child has chosen a technical or trade school.
- Think with your child about why he or she chooses this and not another class profile in high school. In other words, what would he need extended biology, geography, or another subject for in the future?
- Take advantage of the professional help of a career counselor who will help your child determine his / her professional predispositions and plan the choice of school or studies. In psychological and pedagogical counseling centers in major cities, there are employment counselors who support students in their elections for the future.
- Use the help of a vocational counselor at school, a pedagogue, or a teacher who carries out educational and vocational counseling tasks.
Great hopes of parents
Almost every parent has their own ideas about the child’s future. Some of us express it bluntly, saying, “How come you don’t go to high school?” or “What a stupid idea to take a year off after high school graduation!” There is nothing wrong with the fact that we have certain hopes related to the child, the problem arises when we begin to demand that it be fulfilled. We are then dealing with an attitude of parents in which the child is a project of our great hopes, and often what he or she wants simply does not count. Such parents impose on their children an unrealized plan for their future. Children then become an object in the hands of their parents, which will inevitably lead to a crisis and break up relationships.
Must Read: Independence – how to develop it in a child
How to take care of the development of interests in a child?
- Talk to your child about what they would like to do in their free time, get to know them, ask and listen.
- Observe the child – see what he likes to play, what he watches on TV, what games he plays, and what resources he develops thanks to this.
- Motivate to attend the extra-curricular or extra-curricular activities chosen by the child. Help him make a choice, cheer him up when he doubts whether this is a good job for him.
- Let you experience participation in various activities. Do not be discouraged when the child abandons selected classes after a month, talk about what happened, what else does he want to choose? Remember that the child learns what he likes to do through trial and error, so abandoning one activity for another is developmental and part of the search for what is best for the child.
- Be an example (model) for the child. Look for information in your area about where to go. How to spend your free time?. What interesting activities you can do?
What else is worth doing and what to know?
- Let the child make his own decisions. The role of the parent is to show different ways for the child to decide.
- Firmly believe in your child, discover the best in him. Tell him that he is someone special and valuable to you. It builds self-esteem that will help him go boldly through life and allow him to make good decisions.
- Don’t dramatize if your decision turns out to be wrong. It’s not the end of the world. Consider with your child how it can be repaired and what can be done differently.
Parents are the first and most important career counselors for their children. It is the parent who knows his child best and therefore can most effectively help him develop his passions. That will be fulfilled in his future professional life. Who, if not YOU is to help the child find himself in the maze of educational choices. The role of every parent is to always be with the child. When we look at the choice of our children’s educational path. Primary school is usually the choice of the parents – they choose and the child follows them. When choosing a secondary school, it is worth being next to your child – helping him. However, when choosing a university, parents should only provide support.