How can you best help your child's career to fly high? As a mother and step-mother, I know how difficult it can be to provide the 'right' support for the individual growing up in your care. Helping him or her to develop strengths and skills whilst balancing any weaknesses, and supporting them in making informed and realistic decisions - these are all part of our role. Parents are the most commonly used careers resource sought by their children so it might help you if you have access to up-to-date information and sources of guidance. Please look at the Information Hub for extensive information resources. You might also find these sites, aimed particularly at parents, provide you with more insights: http://www.parentadviser.co.uk/ and http://www.careersadviceforparents.org/p/free-expert-advice.html
In my many years working with both young people and their parents, it is clear to me that the most effective support is provided when parents...
- listen to their child. Don't assume that you know what their answers to your questions will be;
- avoid living their life through their child. Don't try to impose your own career plans on your child;
- base their opinions on fact rather than feeling. This may require some research using the resources linked on this page;
- let their child decide. You cannot live their life, so even if the decisions don't make sense, and if you have done all you can to raise awareness of the pros and cons of different options, don't make the final decision for your child;
- avoid out of date assumptions. Whatever education you had or institution you attended, assume that it differs from how it used to be when you were there - so ensure that it is fully researched;
- accept that each child has his or her own gifts and abilities - flying high is not just about prestige. It is about being happy and fulfilled.
I frequently meet with or speak over the phone and Skype to parents to help them to understand their child's options or to explain an application system. I do ask a small charge for this as it relies on my expertise - you are welcome to enquire about this.