Parent roles

Parents interpret information for their children - about the world around them and about themselves. Numerous studies suggest two central influences that relate to career development:

  1. Close relationships between parents and their children provide the sense of security needed for exploration and risk taking.
  2. Children's early experiences build the foundation for their beliefs about if and how much they control their own lives.

Some researchers refer to parents as a child's career coach. Just like coaches for athletes or artists, there is no single "right" way to do it. However, there are some fundamental principles that you as a parent, or the significant adult in a child's life, will want to adopt:

Parents nurture, motivate, clarify, connect, and challenge! This may sound a bit like walking a tight rope or balancing on a beam!

Career coaching does not involve a separate set of activities. It is woven into your other parental responsibilities. Routine activities offer ample opportunities to help your children develop interests, understand their talents, connect to the real world, and learn important skills. Your support and guidance includes specific career or educational suggestions. However, every day, you also indirectly support career development by creating learning experiences, such as family vacations, reading books, and modeling paid and non-paid work roles.

What you do influences key aspects of your children's career beliefs, choices, and actions. Here is a partial list of career-related attributes that are born at home:

So, you see, your actions are critically important to the future success of your children - to their career decidedness and maturity, to their educational and occupational attainment. Your role as parent is to be aware of your influence and consciously work to make that influence as positive as possible.