Are you letting your children lead their own lives?
Very often, we observe that parents would want their children to enjoy what they didn’t when they were young. This includes lavish birthday parties, interactive toys, learning certain instruments and sports, and the list goes on. Dr Lim Suet Wun, CEO of National Healthcare Group, advises parents to let children lead their own lives, and not live out your dreams through your children.
Should parents encourage their kids to “follow their passion”? Blind encouragement should never be done. Passion is one thing – but not many people can do well in their passion. According to Dr Lim, children should decide what they want in their lives based on what they are talented in and have situational awareness – hindsight, insight and foresight.
Together with the support of parents, kids should do what they are good and adapt when they discover that maybe they are not so good in it. It is possible for passion and talent to fit perfectly, and for ability to match ambition. But this takes trial and error before discovery is made.
What can parents do to help children with career choices?
Dr Lim advised parents not to live vicariously, and not to do too much in terms of our children’s career options. Parents are emotionally invested in their children, so it may be inevitable that they try to do too much. Parents may end up interfering and giving their kids advice about something they are not sure of, since the future cannot be defined by us.
Dr Lim added that for career guidance, parents need to be slightly detached and behave like job counsellors. Ask your kids many questions, instead of telling them what to do.
The world will remain highly competitive in the future to come. As technology advances, the skills our kids learn in school probably will not see them for life. Dr Lim concluded that “people will have to work hard, work smart, continually learn, develop and adapt. Experience is not as valuable as it was in the past because the knowledge base is shifting so quickly”.