How to help your child pick a stream

how to help our kids to choose right stream to set career - ZenParent

My daughter is at that class where we have to decide what stream to pick for higher education. Even though she is still in the 8th grade, her school is offering her the option of picking environmental science over physics and chemistry in the 9th grade.  We are standing on the threshold of this decision and it is a little intimidating. picking this means that we are letting go of engineering based options for her. It is a little tricky to decide this early. On one hand, while the child is sure about the subjects she dislikes, as a parent, I am not sure if it is because she truly dislikes the subject or she just has a bad teacher in the subject! My daughter is also very confused.  Gone are the days when parents believed that engineering and medicine were the only cool educational streams to pursue for success in life! Today, there is a plethora of options including some unheard of ones such as fashion communication,  which did not exist a few years ago. So how do you decide what your child should study? Here are a few things you can do to help your child make the decision:

1. Vicarious: First, check yourself if you are trying to get your child to pursue your dreams or what you think is perfect for your child. While, as a parent, everyone wants nothing but the best for their child, we can also be pushy about what we think is the right thing our child should pursue without looking at it from the child’s perspective.

5 things to be consider while  choosing the child's stream - ZenParent

2. Research: When I was in the 11th grade, I chose the commerce stream, and I actually thought BITS Pilani offered a course for commerce students! That was the extent of my naiveté. Today, with the range of courses offered and the amazing resources available at your fingertips on the internet, do your research thoroughly about what your child wants to do and what he/she needs to study to get into that course.

3. Get real life info: If your child thinks he wants to be a veterinarian, but you are not so sure he will really love it, ask around. Find a veterinarian who is somebody’s friend who will let your child “job shadow” them for a day or two. Let them spend time and see the life of a real doctor. Job shadowing is a great way to get a peek into the life of a person practicing the profession.

4. Reality check: Sometimes, children have dreams of becoming musicians, artists etc. Have a talk with your child about the realities of these professions: the hardships, the money they will be making etc. Ask your children if they are ok with having a simpler lifestyle, which they may have to adopt in the profession that they covet. Are they prepared for the compromise? These are all real life questions you need to discuss with your child.

5. Get help: There are agencies now that administer an aptitude test to your child, followed by a few interviews by psychologists and finally they give a report about your child listing their areas of interest, their abilities and the kind of courses that would suit your child. These services can be utilized when one is thoroughly confused about which way to go and also give you a realistic idea of your child’s strengths and weaknesses.

The world today is very flexible. Engineers take a turn and become marketing professionals. Accountants become human resource professionals. The world is more accommodating and understanding that people want to change paths for various reasons. So while it is an important decision to make, it is definitely not the end of the world.

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