As kids in the 80’s and 90’s, I don’t remember any real confusion that we went through or did our parents before we turned 15 and came into our 10th standard where we had to make a career choice. Even at that point the options were limited and traditional careers were the only reliable means to a resounding career. Though at some point later, a lot of us did branch out to make the most of unconventional opportunities and treaded new career paths, the decisions were made much later in our lives; when we were mature enough to understand our interests.
However, as parents to young kids today, I do believe that our children have a plethora of career options which they can make out of the things that they love to do. However, parents need to help the child at an early age in identifying their interests and passions since every child is unique and helping them early-on in honing their talent can really be the key to their success in the future.
Pushing the child to do things for which they do not have an aptitude can cause undue pressure and kill their creativity and unique individuality. Parents today, need to help in carving out a child’s future by encouraging them to dream big and dream along with them, trying to be in their shoes. Based on their interests, they need to help identify options and nurture the child’s dream. Also this needs to be done earlier than one believes; by the age of six, a child’s adult intellect is developed hence early intervention is necessary.
Step 1: The Right Exposure
The child may not even know what interests him or her. It is very essential to offer great exposure in different ways in all directions. This definitely does not mean sending them to a 100 hobby classes all at once or send them to something that is trending and every other kid is doing. This means exposing them to different things through books, stories, excursions, exhibitions, festivals, games and other means.
Step 2: Observe
If you think your child is going to be able to tell you that this is what interests her or him; forget it! You have to observe your child in different situations and notice what is it that he or she is suited for, what keeps them engaged and happy, what is it that comes naturally to them. This too will keep changing but observe the subtle traits that will remain constant.
Step 3: Let Them Dream
Teach them to dream and dream big! Parents must foster a rich environment to enable their child to become a big dreamer. Ensure that you help the child carry on their free spirit and youthful passion into adulthood.
Step 4: Encourage at Every Stage
Their dreams may be unrealistic, however we as parents must try everything possible to keep their dreams alive. Never discourage the child, and instead come up with new, ways to make the child’s big dream more interesting.
Step 5: Identify Tools to Help You
Although you may want to ensure that you guide your child it the right direct, it is not easy to understand everything yourself. You may need to take assistance from structured aptitude tests that include expert guidance and can be used to understand the skills and capabilities of children. Aviva Life Insurance has one such tool to enable parents to partner with their child’s aspirations and give them more robust and evidence based results to measure the traits of their children.
Step 6: Long Term Plan
One must set their financial goals for their children’s future studies. The last thing that you want is that money becomes a hindrance in your child’s dreams. It is important to set your financial goals and invest early on so that the money is available to you at the right time.
Therefore, our role as a parent is simple; give them a great environment to flourish, teach them to dream and be there to fulfil all their dreams!!