In this edition of ‘Homemakers’ I will look at how mothers can be good career counsellors to their children. I am not attempting to jump the gun because I know some of you may have wish that parental guidance could be more appropriate for this topic. The fact remains that children as young as primary schools pupils have shown interest on professions they want to pursue. You may have heard them say they want to be Police, Nurse, Teacher, Actor and even President? That is to show their level of exposure on what happen in the society.
Since Homemaker, is a column devoted to family women, most of them always think about the future of the children on the kind of jobs they may do when they grow up. Their future is our responsibility too as parents.
People are expected to move along with the rate and speed of modernization. However, coping well requires self discipline, right thinking and clear decision making. The reality is that most of our children are conditioned to conform, not to think for themselves.
Generally, children get impressed easily, that is why they are referred to as impressionable. From tender age, they need to be introduced to educative and informative materials such as toys, books and educative videos that will enhance their performances. Mothers should also ensure they monitor their exposure to indecent television programmes and channels that may tend to change their perception and upbringing to wayward lives.
The school they attend, subjects and courses that are offered to them are very important to guide them towards a better career.
While trying to counsel our children on future career, they should be encouraged to decide based on their knowledge and skills, which as mothers who are close to them, be able to advise them accordingly. It must be pointed out that we should regularly crosscheck and evaluate their class works to determine their proficiencies in particular subjects that could also give clearer perspectives of career prospects.
Mother should be the children’s best companion… be close enough to understand the subjects they are good at from the foundation. So that the mother will exactly know what they are leaning, and be able to give appropriate piece of advice.
Mothers need to create time and have listening ears to be able to understand and gain the trust and confidence of their children. Many children lose confidence of their parent that they would rather have the company of outsiders and friends who may change their destiny for good or for bad.
Some studies have shown that career women who abandoned the responsibility of monitoring and caring for their children to housemaids, regret such actions in future when the children would not listen or believe in their counselling as they have become detached from them for lack of parental care from the outset.
Surprisingly some housewives too are notorious in shouting down or bullying their children for every slight provocation. In fact some refuse to have the listening ears for conversation or simple enquiries from their kids, which they consider as gibberish.
Mothers require basic techniques for counselling their children. We could start by introducing what we are trying to discuss with them and let them understand why we want to discuss the issue with them. We should encourage them to speak on what they want to become in the future and listen to them attentively, probing them further on the reason for their choices.
We should avoid environmental distraction when we want to hear them, their feeling, their passion and their interests. Getting the right environment is a factor to engage them in healthy discussions. Most discussions are better done in conducive environments where we could be alone with them. We should have the ability to study their mood and make sure we are getting the right response.
Again, the mother should be ready and have listening ear, as one cannot listen to anyone and do another thing at the same time, so getting ready and willing to be active listener is important, by always nodding your head giving signal and statement like ‘ok,’ ‘ go on,’’ that is good,’ will go a long way to win their confidence.
After listening to them and encouraging them to speak out, we should then be able to ask the right questions. A mother should always ask an open question rather than close questions. We should not be in a hurry to get the reply. We need time and patient to ensure the interactions are positive.
The success of such engagements depends solely on how the mother handles the situation. Their abilities are indicative of their future if well harnessed and nurtured. They may be young, children also have inspirations which should be supported and encouraged. As much as possible we must not force them on choice of careers. We could provide them with educative and informative materials that could assist them to make the right choices.
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