Separate Your Aspirations from Those of Your Child
If you want your child to become a doctor but they decide to do something else, you may have to process a feeling of loss, but be careful! It is important to sometimes set aside your own aspirations as a parent, but that does not mean that you should completely withdraw from helping them figure out their life. On the contrary, your teen will probably need the support of their parents more than ever and, above all, more affirmation about their ability. As much as they need to believe in themselves, they may need their parents to believe in them more, even if they don’t act that way. Despite having an adult body and a strong desire for autonomy, many teens at the end of high school, can hold on to ‘magical thinking’ that everything is going to work out no matter what and that they just need to live in the moment. So, it is also important to remind them that the choices they make right now can have profound consequences for their future.
One of the greatest challenges parents face is no longer having control over the decisions and choices their kids make, while also doing their best to guide them along the best path possible. It is important to recognize that your child is an individual and that every child is different in their educational and professional abilities.
The greatest power a parent can have is a deep understanding of their child's needs, and of the reality of their options.
Be There for Them as They Figure Things Out
Encourage your child to think about their aspirations, desires, passions, and dreams.
Support and Refer as Needed
Explain and discuss ways in which you can help them financially, support them otherwise, and guide them along their post-secondary path. When necessary, guide them towards the resources they can use to help them navigate life (school guidance counsellor, local Carrefour jeunesse-emploi, etc.).