As parents, we want the best for our children. But when it comes to influencing their career decisions, it’s important to strike a balance between guidance and allowing them to explore their passions. Here are some tips on how parents can positively impact their children’s career decisions without being overbearing.
A loud tapping interrupts the otherwise peaceful morning. My kid is standing on a chair she dragged to the kitchen counter, pretending to tap on a computer while occasionally scribbling on paper. She is pretending to be at work as I rush to send a few emails.
There’s a good chance that, like me, you’ve pondered your child’s potential future professions while gazing upon them. Perhaps the child who likes the moon will become an astrologer, and the one who enjoys baking will become a pastry chef. It’s exciting to explore our children’s career alternatives when they’re young, but it’s important to be aware of the extent to which we, as parents and caregivers, affect their aspirations.
According to a recent survey by Joblist, one in ten Gen-zers reported that their parents began to influence their employment decisions from the age of five or younger. Forty-eight percent of those surveyed said that their parents had a significant impact on their professional decisions, and over 40 percent felt pushed to follow their parents’ career advice.
Daniele Clarke, a registered psychologist and the founder of Superpower Kids, a program that teaches children about values, believes that while some influence over children’s jobs is intentional and direct, much of it is unintentional and unconscious.
Clarke states, “Because parents typically reside with their children during their formative years, they exercise a rather large effect on their children’s professional decisions.” While the majority of parents claim to have little or no impact on their children’s professional decisions, research indicates that children have a different perspective, indicating that their parents played a substantial part in their career decisions.
Parents’ interest in their child’s academics, educational achievements, and aspirations can influence their professional decisions.
There are numerous ways in which parental influence on professional decisions might be advantageous. Frequently, parents are aware of our children’s passions and may assist them in associating those passions with jobs that suit them. According to Clarke, parental financial and emotional support may enhance a child’s self-esteem and job self-efficacy for a certain career route. But, there are disadvantages to our influence. Clarke warns of the danger of youngsters aspiring to careers that reflect their parents’ conventions and ideals without developing their own sense of self.
How Parents Can Encourage Their Child’s Professional Goals
According to the poll, over two-thirds of parents were unhappy that their child did not pursue their intended profession. How, then can we reconcile our desires and goals with those of our children?
Prior to discussing employment options with a child, Clarke suggests that parents reflect on their own expectations, unfulfilled childhood goals, and the factors that shaped their own career decisions. This can assist parents in avoiding pushing their child in a particular direction.
Whenever feasible, introduce your children to various activities beginning at a young age so they can build various experiences and talents. Aura Priscel, a clinical psychologist, explains, “If these talents that the child acquires are to their liking and they want to continue trying, it is crucial to provide continuity because they may pick a career linked to what they do and enjoy.”
Offer your ear.
Listen to your children about the things they enjoy and dislike, and refrain from passing judgment. Remember that it’s normal for a child’s aspirations to change as they mature, but it’s vital to be encouraging as they discover new loves and dislikes.
Share your thoughts.
According to Priscel, parents should discuss employment alternatives with their children and feel comfortable expressing their opinions. But, problems can develop when parents impose their views on their children. “If the child selects a profession that the parents dislike, they must respect that choice. People may express their viewpoint, but not to the extent that it is the best alternative, “explains Priscel.
Don’t forget to have fun.
Make the process enjoyable, apply no pressure, and stimulate the child’s natural curiosity.
Klaus Di Giovanna, a fifth-generation winemaker, told me recently when I asked if he believed his daughters might join the family company, “They have to be pleased and suitable for it.” This is a commendable objective for any parent regarding their children’s job decisions.