We all want the best for our children, but sometimes academic excellence isn’t always achievable.
Some parents might consider ‘the best’ career to be in medicine, law, dentistry, teaching etc, but that’s not to say that the child wants this future for his or herself. Perhaps your child doesn’t possess the skills and strengths required for that career?
If your child’s strengths suggest that their future ought to take a different direction, inspiring and encouraging them to grow is the healthy way forward.
However, it can be difficult to identify exactly what those strengths are and how they might take shape into a career - perhaps not even the child knows where these hidden skills might lie.
But they are dwelling inside them somewhere, and this article hopes to shed some light on how to get your child onto the right career path.
It’s best to start to look out for your child’s strengths and interests early on in their lives.
As they grow and discover, they’re likely to find something that they particularly enjoy. If you start when they’re too old, the opportunity to build on this early passion might have passed.
However, try not to put pressure on you or themselves. Start by taking it easy and just keeping an eye open.
Put Aside Prior Judgments
One unhelpful obstruction to discovering your child’s strengths is labelling them as perhaps a ‘sporty one’ or an ‘academic one’.
Although there seems to be a particular route down which your child could travel, nothing is ever set in stone. They could well change their mind when they get older.
Even if they don’t change their mind, it’s safer to keep looking out for any possible deviations, and making sure that they feel comfortable pursuing whatever direction they might feel truly passionate about.
Talk To Their Teachers
By Mosborne01 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0
School is where your child will do a huge amount of their learning, and teachers are in the best position to notice how they are developing.
Children often act differently when not in their parents’ company, and talking to teachers on parents’ day, or even paying them a visit or a giving them a phone call will give you a valuable insight into your child’s character.
Give Them Encouragement
By Tysto (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons
The most important part of recognising your child’s strengths is to encourage them when you see potential.
For example, your child might pry over your shoulder while you work in the tool shed; he or she might become an aspiring tradesman. Perhaps getting him or her a plastic tool bench of their own would encourage them to play with their hands and be practical minded.
Or, they might enjoy writing stories, in which case it would help to take interest in what they write.
Question them about what they like to do, and why they like to do it, to help them focus on their enjoyment and recognise it themselves.
Focus On The Positives...
One way of discouraging your child from wanting to learn is by focusing too much on what they’re doing wrong and trying to correct this.
Although it’s always useful to practice rectifying mistakes and learning from them, it’s important to ensure that this isn’t the main focus, and that the balance between focusing on positive and negative traits is maintained.
By focusing too much on what they’re doing wrong, they might neglect or lose interest and motivation in the things that they’re doing well, instead of practicing those things and challenging themselves to improve.
...Without Dismissing The Negatives
However, that’s not to say we should only focus on positive things. Sometimes, the negative things we notice about our children can tell us as much, if not more, than the positives can.
For example, if your child is particularly bossy or controlling in his or her friendship group, then perhaps they’re natural born leaders, and would thrive in a leadership role. Or, maybe they can be stubborn and don’t like being told what to do; they might become strong minded and independent thinkers.
How Can We Help?
Not everybody is destined to be an academic, or to obtain a university degree, and although it might be a nice thought, it’s best to appreciate your child for what they do have, and to encourage them to achieve what they can achieve.
If your child has shown any signs of being interested in a career in trade, or is practically minded and enjoys hands on work, then access training could be the right place to get them started.
To find out more, call our centre today on 0800 345 7492 and speak to one of our course advisors. They will happily answer any queries and questions you might have.