Whilst it’s never a good idea to plan your child’s future for them, it doesn’t hurt to be prepared. As a parent, it’s quite easy to see emergent passions in your child. Maybe they love animals? Or music? Or baking? Everything that your child does can indicate an activity that they’re passionate about and enjoy. These are the little details that you want to look out for because there will come a time when your little one starts thinking about a career and you want to be ready with potential career paths based on the activities they enjoy. After all, the key to a happy work life is to enjoy what you do.
After you’ve found a couple of different interests that your child has, you can start to do some research.
Hobbies and Extracurricular Activities
During primary school and early education, parents have a big influence on their children’s lives and activities. This is the best time for you to nurture your child’s interests and talents through extracurricular activities whether they be sports, art classes, music lessons or anything else that is taught outside the classroom.
Many schools offer and organise extracurricular activities for their students but don’t assume that this is all that’s available. Local community centres and sports clubs tend to have youth training sessions and activities that will also be of interest to you or your child. On top of targeted skills development like sending your young art lover to extra art classes, extracurricular activities also offer other benefits and assist in all-around child development, so they’re a great way of helping your little one grow.
If you’ve selected the right activity, your child will naturally enjoy taking part, even if they need a little nudge at the start to properly get involved. Use these hobbies and activities to develop those interests your child has into skills that can grow further during later education.
In secondary school, it’s much more difficult to encourage extracurricular activities that your child might not want to try but whilst they’re still young, you can start thinking about how to advise them during GCSEs.
There is an incorrect opinion that GCSEs don’t really matter when you get to the workplace but the truth is they matter a lot. GCSEs are looked at during A-Level and university applications and play a very important role when trying to enter the job market for the first time.
With this in mind, during GCSEs you should advise your child to think about the future. What job do they want? What degree would help them get that job? What A-Levels do they need to get onto that university course and finally, what GCSEs will they need to study those A-levels successfully? If you advise this thought process, it will guide your child throughout their education.
During A-Levels your child is going to be looking a lot more like an adult and they’re going to act more independently too. You can’t limit this, it’s simply part of growing up! However, you can still advise them when you see them struggling.
The step up in difficulty from GCSE to A-Level is widely seen as the largest and most difficult to adapt to. It’s very normal to see your child struggle with the initial workload and you can help them through this by encouraging organisational techniques. Folder systems, revision timetables and homework checking will all help them handle their work better, succeed in class and ultimately enjoy themselves more.
Be sure to consider what A-level grades your child will need to get accepted at a good university.
Finally, preparing for your child’s time at university is more about you than them. It’s bound to be difficult seeing your child leave the nest but it’s important to check in with them on occasion, just to check how their work is going. University can be very lonely despite being surrounded by other students; this can lead to self-isolation, during which a call from the family might be exactly what your child needs.
Other than this, you won’t need to guide them anymore! Your child will be an adult and a successful one at that. Remember: don’t plan out their future, just try and help them achieve their dreams by researching and preparing them as best you can.
Disclosure – this is a collaborative post