Some myths continue to persist in popular belief, and it is important to rid ourselves of a few. Not only are they unfounded, but they impair the judgment of many parents, and incidentally, their children.

  • Professions are transforming, job placement rates vary, occupations of the future keep evolving and technologies are constantly changing.
  • The professional world is in perpetual motion and no choices are guaranteed.
  • Most young people find it difficult to get enthusiastic about an occupation based on purely rational considerations like job placement or salary.
  • Many parents would like their child to realize a dream that is not necessarily their own. It is fine to talk about it, but don’t ask them to adopt your desires as their own.
  • Fearful of disappointing their parents, young people often feel pressured to follow the path they suggest.
  • It is only human to transfer our hopes to our children, but every person is unique and must make their own choices for themself.
  • The perfect choice does not exist. To truly discover who they are, young people must explore several pathways, and our school system allows these diverse journeys.
  • People will change occupations or work environments several times during their lives.
  • These experiences are enriching and beneficial.
  • Parents know their child best and often have a good idea of what they want to do. However, telling your child that their choice is not the right one risks harming your relationship and having the opposite effect.
  • You can make suggestions, but do not pass negative judgement on their ideas, which tend to change anyway.
  • Young people must make their own experiences and learn for themselves what is best for them.
  • A lot of parents have dreams for their children, including wanting to see them succeed in prestigious fields or with salaries that assure their future.
  • These dreams do not always consider the child’s real aspirations.
  • It is also important to consider their abilities for their choice of career. A young person may demonstrate difficulties in pure science but excel in social sciences.
  • With support and appropriate guidance, your child will better understand their own interests, values and abilities, and how to adapt them to a trade or profession.
  • Trust them.
  • Guidance counsellors are important resources to support them, and you, in this process.
  • No, they do not! For youth and their parents, believing that they must make a life-long choice is false and a great source of anxiety.
  • Whether in cégep, university or at work, one must choose between different specializations or advanced training and experience these changes, challenges and demands.
  • There will always be choices to make, and there are few simple answers.

It is true that science opens many doors, but does it open the right doors for your child?

There are a lot of sectors that do not demand science: vocational training, social sciences, administrative sciences, etc.

Choosing the natural sciences requires a pronounced interest for chemistry, physics and mathematics, otherwise grades will drop significantly, along with their motivation.

  • You have the right to not agree with their choices, which can sometimes be in your view, unrealistic or outlandish.
  • Without discouraging them, try to understand what led them to these choices, and encourage them to explore related, or totally unrelated, fields without abandoning their original idea.
  • Try a ‘wait-and-see’ approach without hindering their efforts or decision-making.
  • In the past, vocational training had a negative connotation for many people.
  • It is now common for VT graduates to obtain gratifying and well-paid employment.
  • Some create and lead businesses or are in management positions.
  • Vocational training is quality instruction that is varied and rich in practical experience.

Inspired by : Falardeau, I. et M. Guénette. Comment aider vos jeunes explorateurs à s’orienter dans leur vie, Septembre éditeur, 2003, 31 pages.