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Talking to Kids About School and Careers

Estimated reading time: 3 mins

Do you have a teenager that is starting to give thought to their future career? Maybe they aren’t yet at the age for college or university, but are in high school and are starting to show an interest in what their future may be. This can be a very difficult, confusing, daunting, and yet exciting time for teens as the future seems wide open to them with endless possibilities. And while much of that decision making will be on their shoulders, it doesn’t mean they couldn’t use a little help from their parents as they try to chart the course for their future.

Here we’ll take a look at how parents can successfully talk to kids about school and careers and really give them the support they need to figure out their way.

Discuss the Importance of Schooling

A great place to really open up discussions is to highlight the importance of schooling. Schooling is meant to provide the foundations – the basics – to all the other lessons and skills a person will learn in their life. Encouraging your teen to fully apply themselves to all their subjects in school, whether they think they will be important down the road or not, is a great lesson to impart.

There should also be an emphasis on taking school seriously and applying themselves. What this means is that they don’t approach tests, quizzes, assignments, and work with a lazy attitude, rather they give it their all both in time and effort. 

You can even help them with studying and preparation. For example, maybe they’ve got an important test coming up, or even the CAT4 test. By studying sample test questions, they can be better prepared going into the test, which means nerves won’t factor into the equation, and an accurate picture can be drawn from the test results.

Recognize When They Need Help at School

Even for students that take school seriously and put in the effort, it can still be difficult. This is where as a parent it’s important to step in, ask about the challenges they are having, and help to find a solution to their problems. Perhaps a meeting with the teacher would help, as would working on extra assignments outside of class. Maybe you can sit down and offer one-on-one studying help, or it may be time to consider a tutor.

Encourage Kids to Start Thinking About a Career Path

If you’ve been waiting for a specific age to bring up the topic of a future career, it’s time to stop waiting. There is no set age to have this conversation, rather parents should be encouraging their kids to think about different career paths from a young age. You can gently ease them into this mode of thinking by asking them what they feel passionate about, what would they describe as their best skills and talents, and what do they want to learn more about.

It’s important you don’t shoot down any of their career goals, even if the career may seem far-fetched to you. You want your child to dream big, and go for their goals, so your role is to be the cheerleader and chief-support system.

Schedule Campus Tours and Visits

As the time draws closer when your teen will be applying to university and/or college it’s also important for parents to take an active role. Go ahead and schedule those campus tours and visits, and go along with your teen not just for support, but as that extra set of eyes and ears to absorb all that is being shared.

Play an Active Parent Role in Your Child’s Schooling and Career

By following each of these tips, you’ll be able to play an active role in your child’s schooling and career future.

 

About the author /


Simon is a creative and passionate business leader dedicated to having fun in the pursuit of high performance and personal development. He is co-founder of Applied Change, a Business Change consultancy based in the UK. Simon is also an Ambassador for Gloucestershire business. Simon is an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Professional Development.

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