Every parent wishes the best for the future of their children.

You might even have friends who have very high expectations for their children’s career. In some families, it’s not uncommon for parents to refer to their children by the job they expect them to have – my son, the future doctor. Needless to say, this kind of behaviour can put a lot of unnecessary pressure on a child and affect their mental health and personal growth significantly. But it doesn’t mean you can’t encourage your young ones to explore the professional landscape. On the contrary, your role as a parent is to guide your child and explain the options available to them.

Parents act as both mentors and compass in the evolution of a child. Not only do they need to show what it takes to be a responsible adult but they also need to give children the key to embrace the emotional roller-coaster of building a future. The parental choices you make today will affect them tomorrow. Choose wisely!

Your parenting style can lead to self-confidence issues

Even with the best intentions at heart, parents can get things wrong when it comes to raising children. However, you need to prevent your expectations of your child from affecting their mental health. A parent who educates through criticism is likely to damage a child’s sense of worth and value. While being ambitious on behalf of your children can be a positive force, you should remove the terms “good’ and “bad” from your vocabulary, as they force children to follow a path that will please you instead of developing their sense of self. Instead of praising or offering criticism for their actions, provide the encouragement they need to focus their efforts, whether you want to address undesirable behaviour or to reward a positive attitude.

Encouraging them to dream of a career

When is the right time to educate your child to the variety of career options? Career exploration is critical to your child’s development. You need to remember that young children are only aware of a very limited number of jobs, from firefighter to doctor. Helping them to understand that there could be a career behind their hobby can increase the odds of finding a suitable professional path when they grow older. A little girl who’s fascinated by building bridges out of lego could in future years be directed towards civil engineering graduate jobs if she understands how her passion can become a career. Your role at this stage is to help them research options and meet relevant professionals before they pick their studies subjects.

Your child is allowed to fail

As a parent, the last thing you want is your child to fail. But failures happen, and they can teach your child an essential lesson. The earlier you help your child to figure out what they like, the better they can deal with their mistakes. Indeed, as your child develops, they are likely to encounter issues in some activities, whether it’s knowledge or soft skills related. Help them to label their emotions and develop strategies to succeed in the future.

Parents have a difficult task to prepare their children for the future. But your parenting style, your support in discovering career choices and your permission to fail along the path can make the difference between the successful adults of tomorrow and the unsatisfied ones.

Cover Image: Children need to learn about career options