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How to properly talk to a child about the profession
How to properly talk to a child about the profession

It all starts with a very important question: "What do you want to become when you grow up?"

How to properly talk to a child about the profession
How to properly talk to a child about the profession

If we look at the atlas of the professions of the future, we will find there little familiar specialties: architect of virtuality, urbanist-ecologist, specialist in recycling clothes. The modern trend leads to the fact that people will invent their own professions. In a dynamically changing world, it is especially important that a child chooses a business based on his own preferences and abilities.

And the parent can only ask the right questions, without imposing his opinion.

1. What do you want to become when you grow up?

This question will help to understand whether the child has already thought about what he wants to do, or you just have to generate in his head a thought about the future.

Start talking about professions at the age of 10–12, do not leave this question until high school. It is not worth scaring the child with the words “This is the most important choice in life”, just encourage him to think about his desires, to separate them from the stream of other people's ideas and recommendations.

What matters is not so much what profession the children call it, but the reason why they chose it. It is possible that you will get the answer "I want to be a dentist like my dad" or "Programmer because they get paid a lot." This is a characteristic sign that a child makes choices based on understandable models, such as the example of parents or the opinion of society.

The decision can also be justified by the fact that it is easier to enter the university for the chosen specialty. This approach only seems practical. As a rule, this is a decision that is made at the last moment, when the alternative is not to go anywhere and lose a year. To make the choice conscious, you need to dig deeper.

2. What do you like to do?

It is enough to remember a hobby or think about what the child likes to do in his free time. Does he find it difficult to answer? It's okay, envy will come to his aid: ask which of his friends he envies and why. A football classmate or maybe a friend whom my mother taught to sew stylish clothes. You can find out a lot of interesting things. It will be useful to remember in which lessons at school the child listens to the teacher with interest.

Another good way is to play 10 Lives. Invite your child to come up with 10 scenarios, in one of which he can be a sailor, in the other - a film actor or a representative of a more down-to-earth profession - a lawyer. Any options are possible. When the required number of scenarios is typed, we change the rules: now, out of 10 lives, you need to choose only three.

As a result, you will have several favorite or desired activities. Write them down on a piece of paper.

3. What are you good at?

This question can be difficult to answer even for an adult when filling out a resume. This will require the involvement of parents, friends, and possibly a school teacher. What request would you ask your child: help with the computer, come up with a cool caption for an Instagram post? Is math or literature easier for your child? Please note that we are no longer talking about favorite subjects, but rather those where the child shows the best results, quickly completes homework. Whatever you can remember together, write down next to the column of your favorite activities.

The more often you remind your child that he is doing well, the more motivated he will be to keep doing it. And in this way, you form a realistic idea of your capabilities in him.

4. How could you be useful to the world?

Ask your child to recall an episode in life where he was useful because of his innate qualities. For example, he returned to the library a book that had been delayed for two weeks instead of a shy friend, because he easily finds a common language with people of any age. This quality can be used consciously, and there are many professions where it will come in handy.

At first glance, the named feature may seem neutral or even negative. As in the case of the boy Jim, who had a very active facial expressions and who could make the most unimaginable faces. This ability might just annoy teachers. But Jim noticed that his antics made people laugh, and began to do it on purpose to make them cheer up and get positive emotions. Today we know him as a popular comedian and actor Jim Carrey, and lively facial expressions have become his trademark.

Think of a few of these outstanding qualities in your child and think of useful uses for them. Brainstorm. Let these be the craziest ideas for startups or even new professions. The main rule is to justify why it can be useful to people and why exactly he can do it. Whatever you get, write it down in the third column.

5. Where do "I love", "I can" and "I will be useful" intersect?

Phil Knight, the founder of Nike, was very fond of running ("I love"), so he started selling running shoes and even came up with a new comfortable waffle sole with his trainer Bill Bowerman. Using his gift of persuasion ("can"), Phil enlisted the support of the famous runner Steve Prefontein and asked him to compete in the Olympic Games in Nike sneakers. It was a resounding success. This is how Phil's love of running inspired millions of people to go in for sports ("I'll be useful").

Using this story as an example, find the intersections with your child between “I love”, “I can” and “I will be useful,” and then name several professions that will combine all three factors.

6. What can you do now?

When we dream of becoming a writer or businessman, we often imagine only the positive aspects of these professions. This error of perception is common even for adults, let alone children. For example, a writer is seen as a man sitting by a fireplace with a laptop and writing novels. He earns by creativity and does not have to go to work every day. In life, well-known writers rarely become immediately, and sometimes they do not become at all - and they combine creativity with the work of a journalist, copywriter or translator.

To find out what really is the case that the child has chosen, you need to try. A teenager has many opportunities: volunteering, courses with project activities, and so on. You can work somewhere informally.

For younger children, the best option is books and films that tell about the life of real astronauts, writers and businessmen. Read biographies of prominent people in the area that interests your child. Offer to play his chosen profession, give simple tasks (for example, write an article about how you went to the theater). If possible, introduce your child to a real businessman, lawyer or journalist. Let him tell you what his working day consists of.

7. Is it obligatory to choose a profession once and for all?

When I ask this question in a workshop, ten-year-olds say “No”. They saw how their parents completely changed their lives, quit their permanent jobs and started doing their own thing or received a second education. But not everyone has such an example before their eyes, so it is important to tell the child that you can also change your mind. It's okay to cool down to something you loved and start doing something completely new. Knowing this, it will be easier to choose a profession.

It has been proven that 90% of the skills that an adult possesses (ability to play an instrument, knowledge of languages, and others) were acquired during adolescence, mainly between 11 and 16 years old, when our cognitive abilities are focused on the outside world. The more you allow your child to try during this period, the wider his horizons will be.

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