Tips to support your child in making choices for their future

As a parent you have a large role to play in giving help and support to your child when it comes to making decisions such as choosing a college or a career.

At the moment you are probably at home with your children and it is a great time to discuss their choices. Here are some top tips to give your child the tools to make informed decisions:

  1. When talking about choosing a college or career discuss their options – don’t enforce your views and make sure your child is fully involved in the process.
  2. Let your child assess their own strengths and weakness and listen closely to what they believe their needs are. Helping your child to be self-aware is a great skill for the future.
  3. Friends, family, and careers advisers can be a great source of extra support for you and your child. Their experience and expertise could lead you to options you and your child had not even considered.
  4. Help your child acquire some independent living skills. Moving on is not just about academic success, your child will need to be able to take care of themselves practically and financially. Get them involved in cooking and household chores, teach them about money management (bank accounts, saving etc) and if possible make it fun rather than a chore.
  5. Don’t show anger or disappointment if your child’s choices are not what you had hoped. If your child decides to choose a certain path that you may not agree with, rather than a heated conversation, calmly help them (and yourself) to think about their strengths and weaknesses and try to find the best way forward for them.
  6. Research all the college/career options available with your child. Make sure you have all the information you and your child needs to make an informed decision. When researching make sure you are reviewing relevant in date information from recommended sources.
  7. Let your child know that the decision they make is not the be-all and end-all. Life is about self-discovery. How many of us are in careers we thought we would be in when we were 18? We can only make decisions based on what we know about ourselves at the time. Try not to pressurise your child with their decisions and let them know it's okay if they are not sure what they want to do yet but the important thing is to be proactive in researching into what careers they think they may be suited to.