How to talk to your pre-teen about work and career

Children benefit from considering all of the alternatives and the nuances involved in choosing a job. As a result, parents and educators must support youngsters in career exploration and the development of a basic, foundational understanding of how people prepare for future employment.

Here are some pointers to help you get your kids started on a good professional path.

Open your eyes to what’s around you

Draw your children’s attention to different people doing different professions to help them learn about a variety of vocations. This might include discussing the job of individuals in your kid’s nearby community or using YouTube and the Internet to introduce your child to a variety of vocations that might be of interest to them. It would be ideal if you could follow up with a quick summary of what the job includes so that your kid can determine whether they want to learn more about it by studying it.

Keep it casual

You might not always agree with your child’s professional choices, and it’s tempting to tell them what’s right and wrong. Keep it enjoyable, light, and informal instead of turning it into a lecture where you guide your child and tell them what to do (or not do). The last thing you want is for children to view work as a burden that they should avoid. Furthermore, if your child has an interest in a unique job route, do some research together and learn about the occupation together. You could wind yourself leaning towards each other!

Avoid conversation stoppers (yes/no)

When talking to their children about job exploration, parents often feel like they’re talking to a brick wall. To prevent being in such a predicament, ask open-ended questions that cause people to pause and think rather than just answering yes or no.

Here are some questions to ask your child while he or she develops a vocational identity:

  • What are your favorite topics in school, and why?
  • What topics do you wish you had done better in, and why do you think that is?
  • I’m curious as to what folks that are interested in such things may accomplish professionally. Are we going to find out?
  • When you consider what you’d like to accomplish in the future, what comes to mind?
  • Do you think you’d enjoy working as a (profession)? What are your thoughts?

The bottom line

Talking to your children about work and career may be daunting. Above all, remember to be patient, understanding, and casual. It’s important to get their creative juices going here.

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