Today, children are beginning to plan their futures as early as middle school. Many begin to explore various career paths while still in elementary school.
Although this is great for parents who want their kids to start thinking about what they want to do with their lives, it can be overwhelming for both parents and children.
It’s important that parents understand the proper time frame which exists within a child’s development, so that young teens’ decisions aren’t too far-fetched or unrealistic.
Here Are Some Tips For Parents Of Young Adults
There Is Something For Everyone
Whether it’s writing, acting, science, history, or anything else imaginable, there are hundreds of career paths out there. There is something for everyone, so parents need to help their children narrow down their own list by looking at a college with a variety of programs.
The Development Stages
Parents should remember that there are five main developmental tasks of adolescence, each lasting approximately two years (these ages are not set in stone).
Explore Their Dreams
The first task involves developing identity versus role confusion, starting at age 12. During these early teen years, many students’ interests will begin to develop and become more focused, so this is a perfect time for parents to get involved with their children’s interests. A simple way to do this would be by helping your child explore various career paths or even ask them open-ended questions about what they want to do in life.
Discuss The Possibilities
Knowing when the best age is to help a teenager decide on a career path can be tricky. It’s never too early to discuss possible careers, but it isn’t always necessary during elementary school or junior high.
The most effective age range for teenagers’ career choices begins at around 14 years of age and lasts until 16 years of age when students are beginning their senior year of high school. By talking with your child sooner rather than later, you will be helping them develop a plan and interest in something they may want to do for the rest of their lives.
Do Not Make The Choice For Them!
Many parents tend to choose a child’s college major for them. It is important that parents avoid doing this because it can lead to disappointment on both ends if the student changes majors or graduates with no idea of what they want to do next. Parents would not want their own children to get stuck in a career just because it was good enough for someone else; teens shouldn’t either.
Although parental involvement is helpful at all stages of development, parents should remember that teenagers begin developing an identity around age 14 and need plenty of time and encouragement from there. With patience and some research, the best career path can be found, and the future can be planned for both you and your child.
High School Preparation
Once students have identified what they are interested in learning more about, then high school can begin preparation through classes related to these interests. If they aren’t sure what they want to major in yet, common college majors such as business management, human services, or psychology will give young adults a chance to explore various areas while still in college.
Allow Them To Be Them
Parents have a significant influence on how their children perceive themselves and what careers they may pursue. By being patient and supportive during these crucial development stages, teens will feel comfortable about selecting a career path that is right for them.
There is nothing more satisfying than knowing you chose your own fate rather than having it for you by someone else. Although it can be challenging, teenagers are resilient, and with a little help from their parents, they will grow to become adults who know where they are going in life.