Research suggests that if your parents work in blue-collar jobs, you are likely to follow this route too. Likewise, parents who hold executive positions or who work in the medical field will influence their children to follow in their footsteps. Whether you knowingly push your child to do the same job as you because of your love for your job, or, it is a result of your subconscious parenting, your parental skills and approach to education will ultimately affect your child’s career.
Parental skills and career choices
Your own career choice will influence your child’s career interests dramatically. For example, if both parents are doctors, your child will likely follow a career in the field of medicine; if one parent is a professor and the other a lawyer, the child will probably follow a path in the teaching, research or legal profession.
But what happens when neither parent works? Whether though an illness, lack of skills or poor job outlook in their area, if neither parent works, this could harm the career choices of the child. When this is the case, it is all down to the parenting skills.
As a parent, if you show a lack of enthusiasm for academia and do not push your child to achieve top grades at school, it is unlikely that they will go to university for example. However, by showing a genuine interest in your child’s science project, exam results and after school activities, you will instill a sense of achievement and pride in them from a young age, and this will help them to excel in later life.
Research reveals all…
According to a study published by Professor Job Miller (Michigan State University), your parental approach is fundamental in determining how your child will progress in their career. The study was based on around 6000 students from junior high school though to secondary school to ascertain what influenced them to pursue careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering, medicine, and mathematics (STEMM). The research revealed that parents who encouraged their children to attend college resulted in a 41% chance of that child following a STEMM career. Parents who did not actively encourage their child to pursue further education and whom showed no interest in STEMM fields, resulted in a 4% chance of their child going on to post-secondary education and pursing a STEMM career.
The “Parent Effect”
Whether you are aware of it or not, your parenting approach (whether positive, indifferent or negative towards education) will determine the career path and goals children set for themselves. If you reward good behavior and punish when need be; raise your expectations of your child’s academic achievements; if you set a good example for your child; teach them the importance of work, you can successfully lead your child to follow a solid career path.
Here are some tips for getting your child interested in becoming a successful professional:
- Always encourage them to learn; education is vital.
- Teach your child the importance of decision-making – this is a key skill needed in any job.
- Inform them of all their career options (not just the career you want them to follow).
- Show a genuine interest in their academic achievements and help them as much as you can throughout their school years.
- Help your child to become skill-orientated. (If you force them to become results orientated, you could put too much pressure on them at an early stage.)
- Start putting some money aside each month so that you are prepared for college fees.