A parent is the first teacher of a child and should actively assume this role throughout until children grow up, complete their education and settle down successfully in a career.
The world has changed significantly in the 21st century necessitating parents to adapt themselves.
- Just as smart boards have invaded classrooms from primary level, social media is being widely used to share information. Children have access to multiple modes of information platforms changing the learning process. Parents should appreciate this development from the perspective of a new style of learning in the digital era.
- Teenage children feel suffocated with close monitoring. Parents should avoid an authoritarian parenting style and empower children to become independent and responsible.
- No failure is fatal nor success final and this should be remembered by parents and children alike. The greatest challenge to parents is to gain trust of children, make them feel free to discuss any issue irrespective of the gravity of the situation or failures.
- Parents should avoid influencing children to pursue their own incomplete dreams especially if children lack interest or relevant skills. The perception of parents that only medical and engineering careers have scope is no longer justified and there’s a plethora of career opportunities beyond conventional careers, which nurture the inner talent, are interesting to pursue and have potential for a flourishing career.
Children depend on parents from the moment they arrive into this world. Parents should nurture them to grow into responsible adults by supporting and encouraging them, as they go through various stages of development. Parents get a lot of time with children as compared to the teachers. Therefore, they should assume the role of mentors and build their attitude, behavior and personality. As they grow up, parents should gradually reduce an authoritarian approach and adapt a friendlier approach allowing communication to be mutual. Children should consider parents as their best friends for life and consider them as a source of strength in their academic, professional and personal life.
In the Indian context, with its rich values, heritage and culture, family is the most important social institution. Parents and children should actively collaborate to build a successful career and a strong, stable and close-knit family.
(The author is a management and career consultant based in Bengaluru)
Building a career: Roles of Parents and Children
|Parents||Children||Parents and Children-together|
|Develop trust of children and be their best friends for life.||Understand your strengths, weaknesses and aptitude.||Mutually agree on a career goal and an action plan.|
|Don’t thrust your dreams or opinions. There’s life beyond conventional careers.||Think independently and decide on your career after a thorough research and introspection.||Keep communication always open.|
|Strike a balance between giving freedom and monitoring.||Parents are your best friends for life. Convince them about your career choice and your preparedness.||Career choice shouldn’t be influenced by relatives, friends and classmates.|
|Encourage, support & motivate, especially when things don’t go as planned.||Balance study with hobbies/sports/fitness.||Learn to be together in the face of setbacks.|