You want the complete best for your child and that is understandable. What you want to avoid is pushing them away from what they want or making their voice seem unwelcome. Motivation from the parent is a key factor in how a child does or plans on doing. One word or action can cause an idea or feeling in the child about how they should succeed.
When they start off in elementary, you want to be part of every group and organization to make sure that they are planning everything right for your child. You also want to watch out for them in every field trip and activity. You have to slowly let the bird out of the nest. Start trusting them to be alone and independent. Let them take one step as each year passes by. Once they are done with the first twelve years of education, let them fly and learn how to glide on their own.
When they are younger you tend to help them with homework and take control of their projects. You need to let them grow but also make sure to keep the same level of support. Teens tend to be a tricky age but all they want is approval and support. College or any kind of school after high school is a scary and enormous step that should be taken with the parent and student hand in hand. There are a couple steps to deciding on how to act and interact with your child on what they want to do with the rest of their life.
- Discussion: First brainstorm with them and see where there head is at and what kind of careers they are interested. The difficult part is to not hurt their feelings or make their ideas seem stupid. Genuinely open up your mind and ears and think about what they have to say. Be honest and give them advice but never say their wishes or goals are ridiculous or unlikely. You may both agree on an idea right away or in time you may come to an agreement.
- Choices: At some point you must decide what program or school they will attend after high school. Remember that they are the ones going and they must feel comfortable and welcome. Pick something that is right for them and that will test them to their fullest ability.
- The Finish Line: Be proud of them for every accomplishment they have made. Remember that really all they want is your approval and to see pride in your face. They are paranoid and unaware of what will come next in their lives, they need you as a support and a comfortable place to rely on. Watch them walk across the stage with a diploma with excitement and pride.
There is no exact way to help your children be ready for the real world. You can not follow them around with a first aid and dictionary all their lives. But you can raise them to believe in themselves and let them know that you will always be there for them. Education and success are crucial in this world but everyone needs a lending hand every now and then, especially the hand that was the first to help them walk.