Why It's Important to Start Early
Children may do better in school if they can see how education is connected to a successful future. You can help your child:
- Discover the variety of jobs available to him or her
- Connect what he or she is learning in school to real-world situations
- Begin viewing himself or herself in an occupation
- Develop work-readiness skills such as working in teams, making decisions, solving problems and being a leader
How to Talk to Your Child About Careers
Relate your child's interest to adult actitives
- If your child likes art, discuss how adults use art to design houses, clothing, magazine ads, movie sets and even toys. Explain that people also use art when they draw cartoons, arrange flowers, or take photos for magazines and books.
- If your child likes to be outdoors, talk about outdoor careers like landscape architecture, forestry, archaeology, construction work, marine biology and commercial fishing.
- If your child is very social, discuss how people would like to talk and work with people may choose to work as a teacher, a lawyer, a customer service representative, a receptionist, a hotel manager or a convention planner.
- If your child likes to help people, talk about different ways he or she can do that in a career such as nursing, medicine, athletic training, family counseling or childcare.
Career Skills for Your Elementary School Child
In elementary school, your child should start learning about responsibility, cooperation and problem-solving. You can help your child learn these skills.
- Help your child develop a positive attitude about life.
- Talk about your child's likes and dislikes, and explain that every person has unique tastes.
- Teach your child to accept other children's ideas, even if they are different from his or hers.
- Show your child how his or her behavior might affect the feelings of other children.
- Teach him or her the importance of punctuality.
- Involve our child in real family decisions. Talk about how the choices you make affects other people.
- Explain why work is important, not only as a source of income but also a way to contribute to society.
- Resolve conflicts in a positive manner.
- Talk to your child about how he or she feels, and teach your child to deal with his or her emotions in a healthy way.
- Have your family work as a team to complete a home project.
- When your child makes a mistake, work positively to correct it and prevent it from happening again.
Adapted from America's Career Resource Network