One of the major questions that parents ask themselves is whether or not they should encourage their kids to go for the passion path in life, (such as pursuing the arts, singing, acting, writing or other creative pursuits) or whether they should encourage them to go for the academic path (such as pursuing law, architecture, medicine, etc.). Parents have a lot of influence on the path that children choose, so what kind of encouragement should you be giving your children to help them make the right choices?
You might be worried that if your child chooses a creative career path they will struggle to support themselves and become the stereotypical “starving artist”. However, you might also be worried that your child is not passionate about a conventional well-paying academic career and they will feel unhappy and unfulfilled in their work. What is the right answer that will help your child to have the most successful life possible?
The Answer Is Unique to Every Child
The answer to this question will depend on your child’s unique personality, their interests and their talents. The important thing to remember is that every child is a one of a kind individual and the path that makes sense to them might be totally different than the path that makes sense to someone else.
So the answer is that you should not encourage your child in one specific direction – as they know themselves better than you and they are the ones who should decide how they want to spend their lives. Your role as a parent is to provide support, guidance and resources so that you can help them to make their dreams a reality.
Some Young People Will be Passionate About the Creative Arts
Some children have the talent and dedication to pursue a creative career and actually make a good living and to do this they will need to have discipline and business smarts. Some might not naturally have business skills, but perhaps they are eager to learn and they can be encouraged to work with experienced creative professionals and learn from them. It is not impossible to make a living in a creative field, it simply requires business skills such as networking, marketing and sales as well as creative talent. Someone can be an incredibly talented artist, but if they cannot make a connection with a local art gallery to market and sell their paintings they will not be able to make a living.
Some Young People Will be Passionate About Academic Fields
Some children will not even have a passion for a job in the creative fields. It’s wrong to think that everyone wants to be a singer or an actor, but they settle for working as a doctor or a lawyer instead because they need to make money. The truth is that many young people have a passion for jobs in academic and technical fields because they are genuinely interested in the work.
Many young people are excited to pursue a job in medicine, law, architecture, business or other such fields because they are passionate about this type of career.
Give Your Child the Skills and Support They Need to Follow Their Dream
Since your child’s future career path is really up to them, your role as their parent can be to supply them with the support they need to follow it – whatever it might be. You can help them find information about courses, give them support as they educate themselves and help them to learn the skills that they need to succeed.
If your child chooses to pursue a more conventional academic path such as law or medicine they will have a specific path to follow that will involve the required degrees and qualifications. They might be in school for many years, so you can support them by helping them financially (if possible) or letting them live at home to save money (if possible). If you cannot help them in that way, plenty of old fashioned encouragement and cheering them on as they complete their exams and courses will do.
If your child is pursuing a more unconventional and creative career path, you can support them in following that dream too. Help them to find schools or courses where they can learn the skills they need to thrive in creative fields and encourage them to develop their art to its full potential. Help them to make connections with artists, writers, musicians and other creative types that are actually making a living, so that they can learn from them. Stand up for your children when others say that their creative dreams are foolish and they will never make any money. With your support and their own hard work and passion, your child can succeed and make their dream of a creative career a reality.