A lot of pressure is put on kids to plan out their future. From a very young age, we ask them questions like, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” or “where do you see yourself in X years?” While this may be well-intended to get kids to start thinking and planning for their future, it could cause some anxiety for those who just don’t know yet.
Career exploration starts very early. As elementary school kids, we were asked to write about our futures and what jobs we would like as adults. I don’t ever recall a child simply saying, “I don’t know.” That is a very valid answer. Maybe kids weren’t able to give that answer and simply had to choose, or perhaps they felt pressured by their peers to respond, even though they were uncertain. No matter what they decide at that age, there’s a good chance it will change several times throughout their academic life. About 75 percent of college students change their major at least once before graduating. And it seems that uncertainty becomes greater when entering college as up to 50 percent of college-bound students enter undecided or undeclared. (Liz Freedman 2013)
What about the kids that want careers that don’t necessarily need a college degree? Educators love education and want to share that love of education with their students. So, of course, there is a push from a young age to keep higher education on their mind (which is not a bad thing, everyone needs to know about their options, of course). The problem lies in the pressure to choose. The pressure to find your path early and stick with it. The stress of an imaginary ticking clock counting down for them to have their entire life figured out. And that’s when kids feel boxed in and stress out about their future and the choices they make that they think will affect them for the rest of their lives.
First and foremost, try to ease that anxiety. Remind them that it is ok not to know what they want to do after school. Also, remind them that it is ok to make changes to their plans and that there is no exact time to discover who they want to be. A great tool to open up the conversation about their future is a personalized aptitude report made for elementary school-level children.
COSEC for Kids is a unique report made to give a complete profile of how a child learns, what environments and tools they learn best with, and an in-depth look into their behaviors and interests that make them who they are. COSEC for Kids answers the “how” and the “why” of preferences and behaviors. This one-of-a-kind report follows the PCB model, which explores all the factors, including environments, that affect our daily lives and decision-making.
COSEC for Kids provides a new perspective of how a child processes information and opens up the conversation between parents/guardians and educators with their students. The hope is to provide answers for the way the student’s mind works and ease some of the stress knowing that there are so many options out there for a unique individual like themselves. Give them all the opportunities to explore those possibilities and instill confidence in the decisions they make for their future, or even just for today.