Talking to children about work usually begins from when they are small, from saying about the fireman driving past to the shopkeeper’s role and the many other different people they see working in day-to-day life. Children are naturally curious and will ask questions about everyone they meet. For example, when you take them to see the doctor, they will ask questions about what the doctor is doing, and more about their job. Children will enjoy the idea of choosing a job and earning money for doing that and will often role-play different careers through play but as they get older, the idea of getting a job, choosing a career or a business area becomes more of a reality. So how do we have conversations with our children that help them gain a good foundation for their future working lives?
What Do You Want To Be?
“What do you want to be when you grow up? “, this is a question that most children will hear before their fifth birthday. And even though it’s only meant lightheartedly, most children will be thinking about this occasionally over time. Of course, it’s not reasonable to expect the child, or even a teenager, to know what they would like to be when they become adults. A lot of us adults still don’t really know. But what we can do is get an idea of what the children are interested in, and help them grow interest and skillsets around in that particular field of work. And if nothing else they will have learned, developed their brains, and improve their knowledge of the world and the way it works. Which can never be a bad thing.
It’s all well and good children deciding what they love doing, and hoping to turn this into a career of some kind. However, if they aren’t aware of the hard work that goes into any role, whether that be working in the local shop, or becoming CEO of a large business, then they may be set up to fail. One of the best things we can do for our children is to give them a realistic view of hard work and consequences to actions. We do this by explaining how our own employment works, when it comes to time off, hard work and bonuses, and completing our responsibilities on a day-to-day basis. It’s always good to set a great example and explain to our children how hard we work, and what the benefits of working hard actually are. If your child asks questions about your own employment or Business, this is a great place to start, and it’s best to answer the questions as honestly as possible, depending on the age of your children.
The Money Side Of Things
Children receiving pocket money for helping with the housework, tidying their bedrooms, or working hard in school is an excellent way to prepare them for working in the future. Showing children that not everything we get is free, will ensure they have a good work ethic in the long run. Talking to children about how much money they can earn if they work hard, and the things that they can achieve. Will hopefully motivate them or at least help them understand how trying their best, and educating themselves to the best of their ability, will afford them a great lifestyle in the future. Money can be a tricky subject, and there are many resources online about how to educate children about money and how to spend it wisely.
Work/ Life Balance
Quite often, we find ourselves explaining to children, that they will need to work hard all the time and to strive to achieve great things. However, it’s important to remember that even as adults, our work-life balance can fall out of sync. This is obviously a problem for our health, and it’s something we need to consider carefully. Children are especially good at expressing their feelings and needs, so it’s great to talk to them about how to express those needs and make sure when they work as adults they don’t end up working too hard and burning themselves out. So while the boss is calculating work hours for employees you already know what you’re going to be doing with your time off!
In the end, we all know our own children best, and answering their questions, finding out the answers that you may not know, and encouraging them to do their own research, will be the best route for everybody. There are so many different careers and business choices available to future adults, and new things in technology and science occurring every day. So children are lucky to have so many options today, but will of course still need some guidance from their parents, teachers, and family.
*This is a collaborative post. For further information please refer to my disclosure page.