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Parents – be your child’s first career coach December 12, 2011

Posted by aglakadam in Uncategorized.
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Parents – be your child’s first career coach

My last week’s blog post “If your child is at the career cross road” evoked a sweet and sour response. I got many calls from readers telling why they intended to debate on some of the parenting views referred by me. Most of the responses came from the rich and the able. One gentleman said it’s about giving the best academic amenities to the child. One doctor opined that in today’s era parent’s cannot track the likes and personality of their child.  One PSU employee could not digest my statement that “excess concern about child’s career borders paranoia”. A school teacher called me to thank for the write-up, she suggested me to elaborate on the subject and hence this sequel.

For those who might have missed the last week’s write-up I recapitulate the essence.

When at career crossroads, a child is in an very sensitive stage of evolution because career decisions bear a significant impact on one’s life. Children ought to select the career which they are desperate for and not the one which gratifies parents unfulfilled ambitious. However in the process of guiding the child parents should ensure that they guard her individuality & self esteem. Irrelevant tinkering into their space will only display a lack of trust and surely backfire. Too much involvement as well as too less involvement in child’s career building process is harmful. Parents must play the role of a light house & a guide post. The light which they show should enable the child to take a career leap and also warn when there is danger.  The student should be encouraged to take informed career decisions for a prosperous future.

 

Parents are child’s first career coach and there are certain basic fundamental rules which a parent must adhere while career mentoring the child. The messages which a parent delivers can impact the educational and career choices of the student significantly. As per one survey, almost 80% of  high school students stated that they look upon to their parents when it comes to career selection guidance. Children are very smart at observation and they learn a lot from the work behavior of their parents and other adult role models.

 

Children who are particularly gifted & super talented present unique set of challenges. We come across parent’s who boast of their child being much advanced in terms of technology. The frequently orated sentence by parents is: “My son is so smart, give him the latest model of mobile handset and he will not take more than a few minutes to explore all the features and apps tucked into it.” This brings a pseudo sense of overconfidence into the parents. Career selection is different to dissection of a technical device. It is important for parent’s to understand that their children might sound hi-tech & advanced but when it comes to career decisions, they might fail to take mature steps.

 

Parental involvement should neither be too high nor too low.  Appropriate and inappropriate levels of involvement can either help or hinder the childs career takeoff. A balanced intervention can deliver positive attitude in the student which in turn will ensure better grades and effective decision-making skills.  Decisions related to career swing around the fulcrum of family idiosyncrasies and students personality. In situations of dilemma, some parents offer unconditional support to whatever career choice the ward might opt for.  This happens to be a well intentioned but a mal functioning strategy most of the time.  A child  might be capable of doing many type of jobs but in case she enters into a world irrelevant to her personality, there could be sinister consequences.   Ideally at every such stage parent should offer two or three well researched choices and then leave it up to the ward to identify the most suitable out of those.

 

The key to a successful career is being happy and fulfilled at the end of the day. This can be achieved when there is a proper match between child’s interests, values, skills and abilities with the professional demands of chosen career. Being potentially influential in the career development process of their children, parents should know to explore and use career information properly. They should take interest to identify the potentials and abilities in their children and bridge it appropriately.

 

Lessons for Excellence :

 

  • Always share closed ended solutions with your child, never leave them wondering in the wild when it comes to career decisions.
  • Parents should encourage their children to day-dream more and more about their fancied job and develop an inventory of career dreams.
  • Never forget to ask your child to have fun, in the zest to get a perfect student out of their child most of the parents forget the sports needs of their children.
  • A successful parents is open to learn new things and accept the everchanging career scope around.
  • Be open to discussions with your child, even if he has an eccentric career choice!

 

Ajit Varwandkar

 

Feedback : md@fsindia.in

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