How To Support Your Child’s Dream Job When It’s Risky
Let’s be honest, parenting isn’t for the faint of heart. Raising children comes with exciting adventures along with challenges. You want the best for them. After all, you are there to guide, direct and protect them from harm, right? As parents we all have expectations and desires. Sometimes we may find ourselves placing our own desire or unfulfilled expectations on our children.
Part of parenting is directing and also offering children independence and the freedom to decide to follow the path they choose. Letting go and letting baby bird fly out of the nest. What if your child’s dream job is risky and puts their life in danger? You are legitimately concerned for their life and safety. How do you communicate that concern while still offering them support?
Help them navigate their options
Before you lose it, take a deep breath. It is natural to fear for your child’s safety. Be there to listen and encourage. If you are seriously concerned about their safety at their current job or chosen field, then have an honest conversation with them. Sit down and share your concerns reminding them of how much you care. Don’t minimize their opinion.
Remember that you were once a child with big dreams and aspirations. Life is about taking risks. Take it easy on your kids. Maybe you wanted to be an astronaut, a fireman, or a pro-wrestler. You remember what it was like to dream of a bright-colored future. The future seemed like an endless ocean full of possibilities.
It’s important that you show your children respect and listen to them, even if what they have to say may seem foolish to you at the time. They haven’t gained the world experience you have. They haven’t learned the hard lessons just yet. Allow them the space and freedom to grow and learn on their own. Let them take chances.
Some practical tips
The reality is that you cannot control your children’s choices. You can only advise them and hope they make the best decisions. Listening is a big part of parenting. Consider these options:
Seek a mentor
Our kids don’t always want to listen to our advice. You may want to seek out a mentor or leader that you trust and respect to speak to guide your child. It may even be someone who’s already working the job they are pursuing. We underestimate the value of mentorship. A mentor may be better able to reach them and offer the sage advice that you couldn’t.
Encourage them to volunteer or intern
Pursuing volunteer work or even interning is a good way to gain work experience. It will give your child a feel of what it would be like to work in a chosen field.
Help them explore their options
You may want to encourage them to write a list of the pros and cons of working at the job they are pursuing. Writing down goals and expectations is a great way to navigate our choices and make the best decisions. You don’t want to push them, just guide them. Be patient and listen to them.
The best way to test the waters is to dive instead of just dipping. Encourage your child to take chances. If they want to pursue a career that is less than practical, or risky, they should take small steps towards that goal.
Having dreams and fulfilling them is the most exciting part of life. The ability to realize your dreams is exhilarating! If your child pursues work that you deem dangerous, it may be difficult to support. As you’re walking alongside your kids in their life and career choices, don’t be afraid to research and seek out advice. Knowledge give us power and sometimes offers peace of mind.
Editor’s Note: This post was written by Our Small Hours contributor Donna Fitzgerald. To find out more about Donna visit our Current Contributor’s page.
Get support for parenting and connect with other moms – join us in our private Facebook group for Positive Parenting Support.