Strengthen Your Child's Self-Understanding

To the extent that persons have a clear idea of who they are - their interests, abilities, work values, and personality characteristics -- the more likely they are to choose an occupation that fits them. What can you do as a parent to nurture this self-understanding?

Being a good parent is the foundation. And, fortunately, there are excellent books and parent education classes available that can help you. In addition, there are numerous resources on the Internet you will find searching under "parent education." A good example is the National Parent Information Network where I excerpted Suggestions For Improving Communication With Children. Following these suggestions will do much to further your child's self-understanding.

Encourage your child to try out the activities described in the section Learning More about Yourself. These include such things as taking an interest inventory like the Career Key, or examining how they use their leisure time for what it reveals about their interests, abilities, and values.

Have them try out and explore a variety of activities, so that they can get a clearer idea of what interests them and what they are good at, as well as what they do not like. These activities might include learning a music instrument, joining a youth club like 4-H, taking a new kind of course, or trying a new hobby or sport. They may need your encouragement and support as they try out the unfamiliar.

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