Planning your children’s future the right way.

Parents used to feud amongst themselves about what their kids would be when they grew up, if the father picked ‘engineer’, the mother would inadvertently choose ‘doctor’. In many cases the child would grow up to pick up either of the two professions. That seems like the plot of a hackneyed film from the seventies, doesn’t it? Today the sheer number of courses and offbeat careers available to children itself is mind boggling. This is the conundrum, the problem of plenty that students often face, and if they aren’t guided in the right direction, they end up making the wrong choice which could lead them on a downward spiral, professionally speaking. It is therefore the parent’s role to help guide their charges on the right path from a young age.


Advice to parents about helping plan their children’s future well:


1. Take an interest: Taking an interest in your child is the most basic and the one thing that any responsible parent must do. Inculcate the habit of spending quality time with your children and make time to observe and attend their after school activities and extra- curricular programmes. Always encourage them to participate in elocution, debate, quizzes and other such activities that will expose them to public speaking and other useful soft skills that will benefit them in the long run.


2. Be proactive: Once your children reach the age of discernment about the career they would like to pursue, make sure you’re there for them and are proactive to their needs. Take the first step in mapping their interests and making helpful suggestions about the kind of career they should take up. Remember not to be enforcing, but rather suggesting and helpful.


3. Update yourself: Parents in the 21st century need to be up to date about the career avenues and educational options available to their children. A good thing to do would be to attend education seminars and fairs to keep abreast with the latest in the dynamic education arena. Reading and perusing literature of the internet about education is also a great way to equip yourself with regards to questions your youngsters may have about particular courses.


4. Educational counseling: Never underestimate the value of what a professional can bring to the table. Ensure that your child has an IQ test done once he reaches the 9th or 10th grade. Reputed institutions conduct these tests and offer professional educational counseling as an add on service. Ensure that your child expresses him/herself to the counselor and be supportive throughout the experience.


5. Inculcate the habit of reading: In the digital age, you rarely see children spending time reading the old fashioned way. Inculcate in your child the habit of reading from a young age and you will see the fruits of this interest almost immediately. Reading will help your young ones unlock your children’s imagination, strengthen their vocabulary and make them curious about the world around them.


6. Always take your children’s opinion into consideration: Remember the decision to take up a profession or professional course should be completely your children’s prerogative. You may be able to offer suggestions and helpful tips, nothing more. Try to facilitate a healthy dialogue with your kids about their life plan and offer your advice. Don’t take it personally if your children disagree with your viewpoint. Reassure them that they will always have you to turn to in case of any help or advice they may require.


7. Always keep an open mind: If your child is unable to secure the requisite percentage for a particular course, don’t be too hard on them. Make sure they know that it isn’t the end of the world and that they can count on you for support.


Planning your child’s future isn’t just about ensuring that you have the finances to afford the course they want to pursue, it is about being there for them emotionally, in every possible way, support them at the most critical juncture of their lives.