Building your child's future together

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

Cause and effect is a common method of organizing and discussing ideas why things happen and what happens as a result of those things. This article from the American School Counselor Association gives parents, teachers and mentors a look at appropriate ways to encourage children in each stage of life, and shows the positive effects encouragement has on future career development.

When planning a career with your child, consider the following:

  • Work situations and skills needed for employment are constantly changing.
  • Almost half of the working population expects to change jobs in the next three years.
  • Retraining and upgrading skills will be a requirement for maintaining employment.
  • Two-thirds of the jobs created today will require education beyond high school.
  • The worker of tomorrow must be able to work as a team member, communicate, solve problems, use technologies, adapt to change and be drug-free.
  • Career development is a lifelong process.
PRE-KINDERGARTEN THIRD GRADE

Development traits

  • Needs and seeks attention and praise.
  • Has boundless energy.
  • Considers fantasy as reality.
  • Shows a variety of tension-releasing behaviors.

Career needs

  • Distinguish between work and play.
  • Identify different types of work.
  • Experience different types of work activities.
  • Describe how decisions are made.
  • Demonstrate a positive attitude.
  • Identify personal feelings.

Parent involvement

  • Listen and encourage.
  • Encourage involvement in a variety of sports/hobbies.
  • Positively reinforce your child for completing chores.
  • Praise efforts toward work as well as accomplishments.
  • Show an interest and stress the importance of school.
  • Give toys that promote role playing.
  • Make decisions with not for your child.

FOURTH GRADE SIXTH GRADE

Development traits

  • Is more independent.
  • Feels that friends and belonging to a group are important.
  • Can assume more responsibility.
  • Has a surprising scope of interests.
  • Can think on his or her own but is influenced by others.

Career needs

  • Identify personal interests, abilities, strengths and weaknesses.
  • Describe how work at home and/or school relates to jobs in the community.
  • Describe how work is important and attainable to all people.
  • Describe how personal beliefs and values affect decision making.

Parent involvement

  • Encourage good work habits at home. Gradually add responsibilities. Effort/experience are more important than quality.
  • Don't assign jobs at home based on gender to avoid stereotyping. Show various workers in your community.
  • Participate in your child's school's career education program.
  • Listen as your child makes decisions. Keep peer pressure in mind.

SEVENTH GRADE EIGHTH GRADE

Development traits

  • Is undergoing dramatic physical changes.
  • Is sensitive and has need for approval.
  • Tries to build a unique identity apart from parents' influence.
  • Wants more independence.
  • Is curious but not ready for planning.
  • Expresses feelings more openly.

Career needs

  • Demonstrate effective skills in working with others.
  • Show an appreciation for the similarities and differences among people.
  • Describe individual skills and aptitudes required to fulfill roles.
  • Identify strategies for managing personal finances.
  • Describe skills needed in a variety of occupations.
  • Demonstrate skills needed to obtain and keep a job.

Parent involvement

  • Discuss your child's skills, interests, abilities and goals to help plan for the future.
  • Encourage participation in service-oriented activities in the community.
  • Help children meet a variety of workers by arranging job observations, field trips or personal interviews.
  • Use guided money-management and allow your child to make economic choices.
  • Allow children to work part-time outside the home.

HIGH SCHOOL

Development traits

  • Develops a sense of self-identity.
  • Begins a more prominent and realistic work/career search.
  • Develops a concern with social issues.
  • Matures sexually with physical and emotional changes.
  • Increases independence.

Career needs

  • Understand how individual personality, abilities and interests relate to career goals.
  • Understand how education relates to college majors, further training and/or entry into the job market.
  • Demonstrate transferable skills that can apply to a variety of occupations and changing work requirements.
  • Be able to use a wide variety of career information resources.
  • Show responsible decision making.

Parent involvement

  • Help your child make independent decisions.
  • Encourage exploration of all kinds of post-secondary education opportunities.
  • Involve yourself in your child's future planning.
  • Give certain economic responsibilities.
  • Encourage job awareness.
  • Be flexible as the decision-making process evolves. It takes patience and numerous modifications.