Because you know your child better than anyone…

Do you ask yourself how you can help your child develop their identity? While there is no magic solution, you should know that “recognizing and expressing to your child their capacities and preferences” is very constructive in the process of self-discovery.

Here are some approaches that you can use:

  • To offer good counsel, simply be attentive to their aspirations and preoccupations.
  • At dinner, in front of the television, in the car… They say that they like their math course because it is easy for them; that they like playing football because they like to move; that they like to chat because human connections are important in their life… They are talking to you!
  • You possess, probably without knowing, important information to help your child discover and express his interests, talents and values.
  • Remind him about school projects or extracurricular projects that he enjoyed, or activities that interested him when he was younger.
  • Highlight his strengths, rather than his weaknesses, to encourage a positive self-image.

Exploring the job market can be both enjoyable and rewarding for both child and parent.

This exercise can take different forms:

  • A visit to education-related fairs and expositions.
  • Visiting internet sites specializing in careers or educational establishments.
  • Reading up on employment perspectives for different trades and professions.
  • Visiting open houses of various educational institutions.
  • Finding interesting places to participate in one-day observation internships with professionals.
  • Consulting specialized publications.

Get involved!

If you do not already, you should talk about your own career, including your great (and not-so-great) moments! How did you get your current job? What was your school journey like? What are some of your own upcoming challenges?

By sharing with your child what drives you and what gives purpose to your professional life, you become a positive reference for life after school.

Encouraging them through action includes taking interest in their achievements and taking the time to discuss the means that they used to accomplish them.

Questions to initiate a conversation:

  • How did you so brilliantly carry out this important project despite all the obstacles?
  • Have you been working on this for a long time?
  • How did you come up with this brilliant idea?

This is called developing a sense of self-efficacy, or simply, confidence in their ability to succeed!

The goal is to have them realize their effectiveness in a given situation:

  • Do you realize how great you are at this activity / course?
  • Wow! You certainly reacted well when…
  • Young people must know that they are not limited; there are always options available to them.
  • There will always be time to make changes during their school journey.
  • Show patience and trust them.
  • It is important to support your child, to allow them the time to reflect, and above all, to respect the fact that the choice of occupation belongs to them.
  • It is normal and healthy during the process that young people will change their minds and explore domains completely different from one another. They may want to be a doctor one day and a rock star the next.
  • This is beneficial because this exploration helps them to better understand themselves and discover a world of possibilities.
  • Your role is simply to support their exploration, demonstrate interest and try to understand the reasons that motivate their choices.

Inspired by: :

  • Lebreux, Marlène. Orientation 101 pour parents : accompagner son enfant dans son choix de carrière
  • Quelques conseils pour aider votre jeune dans son orientation, Éric Boisvert, C.O. CSSH