Gone are the days when parents enforced their plans about their children’s future on them. Gone are the times when a child would follow a career path set solely by his parents. Today a totally different combination of parent-child relationship is seen. Today an effort to walk hand in hand with the child, is seen from the parents’ side. A realisation that it is necessary to understand a childs interest and help him construct his career path, has dawned on parents. It is very essential to establish a relation, which encompasses the comfort of sharing things with each other. But differences in thoughts cannot be denied. So how can a Parent-Child duo who may differ by thoughts about career selection come to a conclusion with mutual consent?
Fatima Agarkar, an educationist, says, “Children today have access to detailed information, a lot of researched data is available pertaining to their personal choices on the internet and honestly, children are more aware, reflective of their skills, which makes them feel they are capable of taking the right decisions in their life. This may result in difference of opinion especially when parents, protective of their children, like to dictate decisions. Children at times need to exercise their rights and work with their dreams provided they have a logic, a rationale and a well thought of plan. Parents can allow them this freedom and be there as support, even if it means allowing them to explore a path that is not in alignment with their wish list. Children should always know they have their parents blessings and support! In case their choices do not materialise as envisioned.”
Parental confidence is therefore also the difference between success and failure for the children. Be there for your children u. When we talk about being there for your child all the time, taking part in career counselling of your child is also equally important. It is the counsellor who advices your child about his career but he would always need his parents to hold his hand and walk with him. Youth, they say, sometimes work with calculated risks, and parent’s experience and support in the process, is the voice of reasoning and questioning that enables children to ‘think through’. Also participating in the process, the parents motivate, encourage and get to know their childs true abilities and desires and perhaps impose their personal decisions less.
Children at every stage need to have a sounding board and parents have the ability to only think of the best for their child. Having said that, it is also sometimes seen that parents kind of overstretch the counselling process for their child. On this, Mrs. Agarkar says, “I know of parents in school who have started the goal setting of Harvard as soon as the child turned 4! There is that need stemming from the fact that every parent believes a head start counts, every parent cherishes the planning and careful guidance but perhaps it isnt required as children are growing up independently and can take decisions objectively as well.”
Then what exactly is the way in which parents are supposed to get involved in career counselling of their child? Well, quite honestly, as parents one has the deepest and most realistic understanding of a child’s abilities and skills. If parents can remain objective, and guide the child aware of the child’s innate and talents and also of limitations, they become an important cog in the discussion process. Giving counsellors a perspective who tend to base it on evaluation of an aptitude test and past results. When asked how the mapping of a childs future should be done, Mrs Agarkar said, “I attended a conference recently and the writing was on the wall for parents and educators. We are grooming children today with no idea of the kinds of jobs that are going to be in existence decades later. How can we therefore map their future?
We can teach them skills of being adaptable and transferable and therefore when the children get to the threshold age of making the decision. They should be allowed the freedom too.”
Hence, when a parent-child duo decides to choose upon a career with mutual consent, a child needs to have faith and patience on his own and parents should adapt to the changing world as well as the thought process of their child.