As a parent, it’s extremely easy to worry about your child’s future. You want the very best for them. As they are getting older, you may find yourself becoming more concerned about what their future will look like and if they will become a confident, happy, productive adult.
First I’d like to ask you two important questions:
- Do you want your child to engage in a future that they are passionate about?
- Are you open to your child exploring any passion that they have?
I ask these questions because many parents have pre-determined ideas about what their children should do with their life or what they think their child would succeed in. In order for your child to truly find their way, they will need your support to travel any path.
I’ll give you an example. When I was a teacher, I remember having a quiet boy named Jordan in class. He didn’t like school very much because he didn’t feel that he was a good student. One thing he was passionate about was video games. He loved all aspects of the video-gaming world.
When I spoke to Jordan about all of the possibilities of having a career in the video gaming industry, his entire perspective about his future changed. A shift in his perspective allowed him to get excited about the possibilities of himself as an expert in video gaming, making lots of money designing cool games. The thought that he was talented at something that can be applied to his future career helped him to feel much more confident about his abilities.
You can nurture this confidence and excitement with your own children. Here are three things you can do right now to inspire your children and remove your own worry.
- Stop Comparing Your Child to Other Children in a Way that Puts Them Down
It is very hurtful to a child when they are compared to other children in a way that puts them down.
Instead, use comparison in a way that lifts everyone up by showing your child the value that everyone contributes. For example: “Sam is great at math and doing well in his math classes. Becky, you may be struggling with math right now, but that’s okay. You will eventually learn what you need to know. You are doing so well in your English class. We are proud of you and Sam exactly as you are.”
It is important to boost confidence in every child so they can thrive.
- Help Your Child Focus on What They Enjoy Doing
Every person is talented in so many things. Including you – Mom or Dad! Help your child to focus and nurture what they do enjoy doing and get creative with them to think outside the box.
You may want to make a list with your children of the things you each really enjoy doing. This could be a fun family activity for everyone to write their lists together and then participate in those activities on the list.
Get ready to think in and outside the box. For instance, things like painting and playing catch may be on the list. Some other things people enjoy doing but don’t always think of is making lists, planning, cooking, reading, etc. Look at everything each of your enjoy doing and help each other with your “Enjoyment List”. You each may forget things you enjoy doing and reminding each other makes this an extra special family experience. You may be surprised what your children notice about you and they may be surprised about what you notice with them.
Remember that so many things you enjoy can be turned into careers. A person that enjoys painting may become an artist, an art curator, own a gallery, etc. Your child may like to play catch now and in the future could do it professionally as a player, a coach, a manager, a sports news person, etc. Someone that enjoys making lists and planning may become a great project manager, travel agent or entrepreneur. Cooking is a great skill that can be applied to restaurants, cooking shows, books and more. Those that enjoy reading may become authors themselves, editors, proofreaders, book store owners or work in book publishing.
There are a myriad of opportunities for any and all passions that you and your children have!
- Find Your Child a Mentor in the Passion That They Have
If your child is interested in a particular career, help them find an adult in that field to have a conversation with. I recommend having a conversation with this person first to be sure you are okay with your child learning from them. Then set up a phone call or an in-person meeting for your child.
Your child can talk to this person about how they got to where they are today and some of the obstacles they overcame to succeed. Have your child make a list of everything they’d like to know and see about this career choice, so they can make the most out of their experience. Having a tour of the work facilities of this career would also be helpful so your child can envision if this is a place for them.
It’s important for children to explore their passions without judgment. Allowing them to find their way will most certainly guarantee their success.