WANT TO PREPARE YOUR KID'S FOR A BRIGHTER FUTURE?
The 21st century is marked by complexity and rapid change, but have you and your spouse's parenting responded? Parents have the most significant impact on their children's career choices. In one recent study by Ferris State University, 78% of high school students said their parents were their most important source of career guidance. Are you prepared to give your children the guidance they seek and the advice they need?
Probably not enough given that many of us have learned largely from our own parents who are products of 19th century thinking. But here's something that definitely hasn't changed: You and your spouse as parents are your child's first and most important teacher. Your child needs each of you to be wise and to give them the thinking skills they need to progress for now and into the future.
To meet their visions of success as adults in the twenty-first century, your child is going to need some pretty sophisticated skills. And I'm not talking about technology skills such as those needed to work computers, although those will be important. Today's kids will need to be forward thinkers, able to recognize problems and opportunities, understand the complex and varied systems in which those problems and opportunities exist, weigh the pros and cons of potential solutions and proceed wisely with enacting their decisions.
In addition, given the dizzying rate of change that characterizes the times, your child will have to be able to adapt. Gone are the days of one-employer or even one-career work lives; gone is the reliance on face-to-face communication; gone even is the security of knowing that each and everyone of us will have clean oceans to fish and play in and healthy air to breathe.
So, what can you and your spouse do to prepare your child for their lives ahead? Use these seven tips to get them going on the right foot.
1. Affirm the importance of your role as a teacher to your child. Reflect and learn more about what and how you and your spouse teach and help your child prepare for their future.
2. Help your child think of learning as a life-long process. Mere memorization and acquisition of knowledge just won't work anymore because the internet allows such easy and rapid dissemination, your child will always need to proficiently filter, interpret and evaluate information.
3. Help your child think of learning as a life-wide process. Encourage them to embrace opportunities for learning and self-improvement at home, at school, on the internet and in the community. Help your child build analytical, creative, social and emotional and practical thinking skills.
4. Focus on Communication Skills. As past generations did, today's children will need to effectively express their thoughts and questions, but they will need to be effective in more modes of communications and with a larger variety of audiences.
5. Think global. Help your child learn about the cultures and languages around him or her and across the globe. The world will continue to shrink and your child's ability to bridge cultural differences will serve them well.
6. Instill in your child the understanding that if they work hard, they can learn and improve in any area. They should wholeheartedly believe they can utilize resources and sincere effort to better learn and do what it is they care about. These attitudes are indeed 21st century and reflect what neuroscientists understand about how our brains literally change as we learn and grow.
7. Be a learner yourself! You and your spouse's examples teach volumes. Point out to your child, for example, how you thoughtfully enter new situations, set goals and draw on resources that help create and sustain positive change and learning.
With mindful attention, you and your spouse can help your child grow up to be a confident, well-rounded individual empowered to learn and change as they need and desire, and ready to embrace or adapt to the inevitable waves of change the future will bring. Onward and upward!
Even though parents are the single most influential factor in the career development of their children, most parents are not adequately informed about how to help. Parents need to know how to use career information, how to assist in exploration, how to support development of interests and abilities, and how to challenge the stereotypes facing their children.
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