Should parents help a teen make career choices or leave it up to the teen?

cindymae

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I think that it is up to the parent to guide their child in the right direction so that they can make the right decisions in life. I would NEVER force my children into college or a career they were not happy with. Money is not everything and I believe that having a career that you are miserable with just makes for a miserable life.

Why in the world would any parent want to force their children into something like that is beyond me. I guide my children in the right way and teach them right from wrong. They are being raised with morals and values and I trust they will make the right decisions. My daughter is 16 and is already in the process of working on her career.
 

zararina

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It is better to let the children choose their career cause it is their life. Parents could give suggestions regarding this matter. Parents could also have a say if they could see that the choice of their children are wrong and and does not give them advancements.
 

LadyJane

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It's a parent's job to be supportive and provide all the information necessary for this big decision. Then again, with it being the parent's money (or loans they will have to repay), they do have significant input into the college choice.
Well said. A higher education for one's child is an investment. I can't imagine paying thousands upon thousands of dollars because my child wants to study yodeling. Perhaps, after they graduate from college and begin being self-sufficient they can they pay for their own yodeling classes.

However, it's not right in my opinion to force a child into a career. Would we all love to have children who wanted to go to med school? (Then again, maybe not.) But if a child wants to work with the underprivileged and opts toward social work, why not?

I have a nephew that started college last year. One of the things he and his family decided was that whatever career he chose it needed to be something that had a strong promise of employment, even with a bad economy. He chose nursing. Perhaps later he will go into med school, or even go in a different direction. But his parents are paying for his education. And they are helping him go in a direction that will ensure he gets employed after graduation so that he can become self-sufficient and then make his decisions on his own.
 

wneely

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We let our kids try things that interest them to see how well they actually like or enjoy it. They're free to give something up- after a good trial- if they truly are unhappy.

We currently have 2 teenagers who are juniors in high school. Our 16 year old daughter has her college time all planned out, and has asked our opinion frequently throughout the process. She told us what she wants to do with her life, and we helped her look into what type of degrees are best, and what colleges offer those degrees. She then narrowed the field to a few schools she liked and has chosen where she wants to go based on what she's looking for in a school. She's going into culinary arts, and then on to another school for a bachelor in business.

Our 17 year old son hasn't decided exactly where he wants to be yet. He's still trying new things and finding out what's most appealing for him. He knows he wants to work with his hands on complicated machinery, so we've made a few suggestions and he's considering options.

In the end they're the ones who have to live with their decisions, and we'd rather our kids live on less and be happy than to live on more and be miserable.
 
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Romer Fort

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I guess it's probably good to have a third party help in deciding, especially when it involves a life-changing decision for your teen's future. It's great to have parents back their child up when it comes to financial support and ideas on any feasible career path that's most promising by the time they will graduate. And it's equally nice for teens to go for the career that they might enjoy doing. But when we speak of uncertainties, both the teens and parents might want to ask a professional guidance counselor to help assess our kids and the possible courses they would want to be involved with. I think it's really team effort for all family members (or with the professional counselor) to help each other out in making this important decision.
While we wait for our kids and pre-teens to go to college, it might be helpful for parents to enroll their kids in different classes which may help them figure out what their interests are and the things that they would want to pursue in the future, like this one for example. It can aid parents as well with helping their kids decide.
 
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Sam

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How can a parent help the child/teen find their right life path toward career fulfillment without being seen as pushy or controlling?

Should the teen be allowed to make all their own career decisions, though they lack any real life experience while the parent sides aside and does nothing?

Or should the parent step in and make the decisions for the teen by enrolling them into college?

To me, either choice seems like an extreme option.

Is there a happy middle ground where both parents and teens can be happy with the outcome for choosing the right college/career path?
I'm of the opinion that parents should spend time to understand there children, know what they like doing and how they respond to issues. Although with the busy schedule of trying to make money for the family this might not be too easy but i think if a parent pay attention to the teen it will be easy to identify possible career and "recommend" same to the child.

I had a similar experience my parents wanted me to do Medicine/Surgery but i knew then that i was more of technical person(although i was good in biology and chemistry) .We had a heated argument on it severally before they agreed that i should study engineering 15-20years down the line no regrets whatsoever.
 

Aree Wongwanlee

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A child in his teens is on the threshold of adulthood. The teenage years are the years of seaching for one's identity. So, as a parent, I want my children to find themselves. That's why I don't make any choices for them. I only make suggestions and recommendations. The choice is theirs because it's their lives.
 

Lacrista34

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Clearly many of you are great parents and those of you who are not parents yet are on the road to becoming great parents. I have a 19 year old now. Over the years we have had the conversations that lead up to where we are now. I totally agree that it is a group effort. Parents and children should cooperate when it comes to career choices. Parents have the responsibility of learning who their children are. This is not difficult as we devout our lives to our children from birth. So from the time our children have their first temper tantrum or babble their first babble, we have some idea of their personalities. We, as parents, must pay close attention to this throughout their lives.
My son had the habit of saying ,"It's my life". While this is true, I always reminded him that we were given to one another so that I can guide him into adulthood and he can be my inspiration. So we established early on that he needed guidance not in a personal way but because he is a child and that is what I am here for. I actually thought that he would rebel a lot more than he did but I am so thankful that he kept an opened mind through most of it. I also had to keep an opened mind too and a listening ear (very important). It helped that I never hid my own flaws. For example; we openly talked about how I overcame many of my mistakes that I made early on in life, like how I dropped out of high school but got my GED and went straight to college for my degree. It's been a long road but my son understands how that actually hurt me and did not help me at all.
However, my son graduated from high school with distinction and a full ride to college. Yet he decided to work first then go to college. I did not like his decision. I am still urging him to go to college. But no pressure! Just never give up on teaching what is right in your eyes. They will come around. And you will be; Like my son says, "the best parent in the world".
 

Lacrista34

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Each person has their own gifts and abilities. Your child or children will develop own interests. Being supportive is important. They will choose what they desire to do in life. It's a journey! www.faithdreamlove.com
You are so right. Being supportive. Honestly, I did not and still don't support my son's EVERY decision but I do show concern in what he gets himself into. And I support as much as I can.Those things that I do not support, he understands why and actually agree with me not supporting him. He admits that it is hard but he understands. Support is extremely important though.
 

Todd Hicks

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Clearly many of you are great parents and those of you who are not parents yet are on the road to becoming great parents. I have a 19 year old now. Over the years we have had the conversations that lead up to where we are now. I totally agree that it is a group effort. Parents and children should cooperate when it comes to career choices. Parents have the responsibility of learning who their children are. This is not difficult as we devout our lives to our children from birth. So from the time our children have their first temper tantrum or babble their first babble, we have some idea of their personalities. We, as parents, must pay close attention to this throughout their lives.
My son had the habit of saying ,"It's my life". While this is true, I always reminded him that we were given to one another so that I can guide him into adulthood and he can be my inspiration. So we established early on that he needed guidance not in a personal way but because he is a child and that is what I am here for. I actually thought that he would rebel a lot more than he did but I am so thankful that he kept an opened mind through most of it. I also had to keep an opened mind too and a listening ear (very important). It helped that I never hid my own flaws. For example; we openly talked about how I overcame many of my mistakes that I made early on in life, like how I dropped out of high school but got my GED and went straight to college for my degree. It's been a long road but my son understands how that actually hurt me and did not help me at all.
However, my son graduated from high school with distinction and a full ride to college. Yet he decided to work first then go to college. I did not like his decision. I am still urging him to go to college. But no pressure! Just never give up on teaching what is right in your eyes. They will come around. And you will be; Like my son says, "the best parent in the world".
Maybe your son decided to go to work first because there is no longer a guarantee that a college education will benefit you. In fact, I would advise him to go to a trade school where he can get the direct job experience today's employers demand.
 

Lacrista34

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Maybe your son decided to go to work first because there is no longer a guarantee that a college education will benefit you. In fact, I would advise him to go to a trade school where he can get the direct job experience today's employers demand.
You are right. However he actually just said he was tired of going to school and wanted to take a break. But you're right. We have been discussing options for returning to school or somewhere where he can learn an exact skill.
 

G.I. Glen

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When I was a teen I was oozing with a lot of idealism and altruism. I had this feeling that I am really destined to be able to do a lot of good deeds to others. I actually did not care about my own needs. Those were my crazy days...

When my child grows up I just have to guide her in making career choices, and that includes the long term goals. For example, if my child wants to be a full time model, i have to support her in pursuing her dream. But I just want to remind her about what are her plans after a life of modeling, because it can be hard if she remains to be a model after getting married and have kids.

On the other hand, if she wants to be a doctor, I have to tell her that she has to think about it a thousand times before deciding. She should not make a decision just because she was inspired after watching Grey's Anatomy or House MD.
 
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Thora

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Some very excellent points. And, you touched upon one of my main concerns that the teen might rebel against the parent's good intentions and shy away from even something they would really want to do. For instance, my own daughter loves games and I think she would do really well at designing games. Of course, she would need to go to college for that. I'm worried that she will rebel and go another direction if I try to force her down the path of game development. I am worried she will freeze up and do nothing or go into the wrong career path cause of my interference. Of course, these are just the worries of a mother. I am sure that she will not be rebellious. I believe that I have my daughter's best interest at heart and she will see that. And, if game development or software engineer is not what she wants to do, then I will fully support her choices. I would never think to do any different.
If you think game development is something she would enjoy then research it and show it to her. If that is not something she would like to do then that is her choice . I had parents that pushed me into a certain college and to a certain profession in university. I don't thank them for that, I know why they did it but I'm not grateful. So don't decide for your child because you know they could do it or are talented in that area. I now do something completely different to what I was studying and I'm satisfied. My parents don't agree, but then they don't have to live my life do they!

Live easy!
Thora MJ
 

Sharon

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Definitely let them decide. I have a 17 year old daughter who is talented in so
many things that I could tell her to do and pursue and she is taking the path
that she is passionate about. It is the only way they will be really happy.
Mistakes may be made along the way. Perhaps even wrong choices.
All part of the course, all part of their journey in this thing called life!
 

Nik

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Maybe a teen should not have to choose a career yet.

Let them find their passion and encourage that.
What are their dreams? What do they need to accomplish that?
Also explain that it doesn't matter what they choose, you can always change.
Money can never be a goal!
 

LVEnglish

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Interesting question. I'm a teenager, so I can very well explain this issue from a perspective of a teenager like me.
Here goes.

The answer is actually very subjective. It depends on some factors, like how confused is the teenager..

Ultimately, it has to be the choice of the teenager, BUT, parents should help him find out what is it that's going to be the choice of the teenager. Here are the things that I, as a teenager, would expect my parents to do if I was confused about my career objective.

Find out his interests and passion: What matters most is the interests and passions of the kid. What is it that he has a talent in? Is it writing? Acting? Anchoring? Public speaking? Drawing? Parents should ask questions like that and find out what's the best career for him/her

Next, find relevant courses on the respective interest/passion: If their kid turns out to be interested in drawing, next comes part of digging deeper and choosing the course. For example, he can consider interior designs, architecture, industrial designs, and such. Parents should search on Internet, or ask other people they know and find out the best courses from best universities for the kid. What would be best for him? Getting a degree in Bachelors in Designing? Stuff like that.

Like I said, it's all about the interest of the kid and the choice of the kid! That's the top most priority. Parents SHOULD help and BACK UP their kid. This is because he may not be well aware and exposed to the career options. That's where parents come in. However, if the teenager (like myself) is well-aware of the field and course he wants to go for, he can just go for it without the aid of parents.

Hope this proves to be helpful to any parent with a kid who is confused about the career they should go for.

This is a great response - I have a huge amount of respect for teens and young professionals; you guys are our future and you have brilliant fresh ideas. Since I have worked with teens and young professionals a lot, and I am the mother of three daughters 26, 19 and 16; I know they want to be heard first and then they want guidance. It's Ok to guide, just don't hinder them by trying to take control. Trust the person you have raised them to be.
 

Developonlinesuccess

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Interesting question. I'm a teenager, so I can very well explain this issue from a perspective of a teenager like me.
Here goes.

The answer is actually very subjective. It depends on some factors, like how confused is the teenager..

Ultimately, it has to be the choice of the teenager, BUT, parents should help him find out what is it that's going to be the choice of the teenager. Here are the things that I, as a teenager, would expect my parents to do if I was confused about my career objective.

Find out his interests and passion: What matters most is the interests and passions of the kid. What is it that he has a talent in? Is it writing? Acting? Anchoring? Public speaking? Drawing? Parents should ask questions like that and find out what's the best career for him/her

Next, find relevant courses on the respective interest/passion: If their kid turns out to be interested in drawing, next comes part of digging deeper and choosing the course. For example, he can consider interior designs, architecture, industrial designs, and such. Parents should search on Internet, or ask other people they know and find out the best courses from best universities for the kid. What would be best for him? Getting a degree in Bachelors in Designing? Stuff like that.

Like I said, it's all about the interest of the kid and the choice of the kid! That's the top most priority. Parents SHOULD help and BACK UP their kid. This is because he may not be well aware and exposed to the career options. That's where parents come in. However, if the teenager (like myself) is well-aware of the field and course he wants to go for, he can just go for it without the aid of parents.

Hope this proves to be helpful to any parent with a kid who is confused about the career they should go for.
Thorium Its good to have the perspective of a teenager, I liked your points my feeling is that it should be the choice of the teenager obviously, but with the experience of life an a parent can put forward suggestions and help put info in front of the teenager, like sitting down and talking and looking things up with them, I have 3, now adult, youngsters, and 5 teenage grandchildren. Two I see regularly - They have all listened to suggestions and made their own choices - all seem to be doing fine.
However in to-days world the chances are they will have more than one career path! People grow and change.
 
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