How to inspire your child
“He just doesn’t study”, howled Mrs Ramanathan in a counselling session for her son Ravi who studies in the 9th grade. Like her, I’ve heard many parents tell me that their child isn’t really excelling at anything! They feel that their children are highly average and won’t be able to compete in the real world. They deeply love their children but fear for them. They go around the block and hear other parents gloating about their children’s remarkable achievements and then tend to get insecure and question their own parenting.
At times parents even take this out on their adolescent teens which in turn ruins the relationship they have with their kids. The good news is that children can change! They just need a little bit of confidence and a realistic goal to aspire for. This only comes up when you identify something your child is good at.
“I think the first step towards inspiring your child is understanding them”, says psychologist and Parents advisor, Eileen Kennedy-Moore, PhD, co-author of Smart Parenting for Smart Kids. This generation of kids is massively under-confident, and as parents, you have to make sure you don’t create a negative environment at home, or pressurize them to achieve unrealistic targets. Most teenagers in today’s day and age lack confidence. They’re either insecure about their looks, their grades, their social standing in school, or even their peer’s success. As a parent, you are your child's biggest fan and cheerleader. Find what motivates your child and be their advocate.
Encourage kids to find their passion
Chances are your child is deeply passionate or is at least intrigued by something! They all have certain skill sets and talents but sadly these things just don’t reach the surface. Our educational institutions at times might add to the problem by restricting the child with their fixed curriculums. In order to recognize this engrossment, you have to listen to your children and by that, I don’t mean just listen to them and take nothing away! You have to really dig in and figure out what they’re thinking about. At first, they’ll be extremely hesitant to share but once you create a comfortable environment and encourage them to speak it’ll all come out. Pick up things you hear from them and come with a plan suitable for their growth.
Set a Goal
Now that we know what your child is good or interested in it’s time to develop that skill by giving them realistic targets. If your child is good at art, you must challenge them by asking them to recreate a masterpiece, if he’s or she’s good at sports, put out targets for them to achieve. Really get in and involved in the process and monitor what’s happening. Support them in their journey by reading about what they’re interested in and provide inputs on how they can improve. They should feel that you’re right beside them. Excite your children about their goals and ambitions. Show that you are excited about them, too. The positive energy and adrenaline will push them to continue their hard work.
Build their confidence
Each child wants to be successful but a little voice in their heads which is probably created by parents or teachers who put them down stop them from doing so. Many of them have accepted that they’re average and just refuse to try. Calibre is rarely the issue, it’s mostly effort. Once you start putting forward targets which they can achieve that too in something they’re passionate about their confidence will build and will spread to other parts of their life. You’ll see with their newfound confidence they’ll start performing in all areas! Be it academically, socially or in the extra-curricular domain. It’s this daily sense of grinding and achieving which will bring out that confidence and once this confidence sets in they’ll be much ahead of their peers in college or in the work field.
I know this approach might receive a lot of eyeballs as parents feel that children should focus on academics in these formative years which is completely true but with that being said parents have to realize that restricting your child from trying other things will in no way improve your child’s academic performance! In fact, exposing your child to different industries and fields will only motivate them to strive harder in academics. We keep telling children about how their future would be bleak if they don’t study but how about using positive reinforcement instead and showing them how exciting their life could be in terms of work and social aspects if they get into a good college. Understand right now that children aren’t really thinking about their future! They have no idea about what it’s like to do an unsatisfying, boring and mundane job that too for less compensation, they’re more worried about their friend’s birthday next week. If you show them how exciting their work lives could be they would definitely work towards grabbing hold of that themselves.
Help them develop a skillset
I’d like to add that by helping your child develop a skill set you’re in a way imbibing in them something that’s missing in today’s economy. A skill set, be it talking, designing, coding or writing will take them miles ahead in the job market and put them ahead on the recruiter’s list. Everyone today has a graduate and a masters degree but a skill set is still something that’s missing.
I know doing all this can be extremely difficult and time consuming for a parent. We here at Compass are fully ready to aid and support you. With our hands-on counselling methodology, we don’t just tell our students about the different careers they can take; we wholeheartedly get involved in their career trajectories by helping them develop their skills and personality through close guidance.
Exposure is crucial for students at a young age; all children have skill sets and interests! We dig that out of them by exposing them to the work environment through activities and short videos. Then by interacting with them and by studying their responses to our material we streamline what our students should focus on and draft out a game plan that is personalized for them. Career counselling isn’t a one-time occurrence, it’s a journey and we here at Compass are ready to handhold you through it.