Preschool is where most kids learn about various career options and future possibilities. Fortunately, positive influence from parents and teachers during this stage can significantly boost children’s confidence in making career decisions. Exposing your child to career options at this early stage significantly influences their adult decisions and shapes their studies in tertiary institutions, such as the American International University. Below are a few ways parents can introduce their preschool children to future careers.
1. Think Beyond the Career Day
Career days are exciting to preschool children. However, this shouldn’t be the only day your preschool children learn about various career options from parents, teachers, and leaders in the community. You should extend career days into career weeks or host various career days within the school year.
Planning for multiple career exposures allow preschool children to interact with their mentors and understand various careers better. You can also organize a career-themed trip for children to have hands-on experience with career options they can explore as adults.
2. Make Daily Chores and Outings About Career
You should make every house chore, trip, and outing with your preschool child a discussion about careers. For instance, if you visit a grocery store, ask them to identify what they can see, be it colors, shapes, or numbers. Use readily available prompts to teach children basic concepts, such as where eggs come from. You can reciprocate the same in the doctor’s office, library, park, and other places.
Similarly, point out what other people are doing as you visit different places. Discuss different job positions and explain to your child the roles and responsibilities that come with holding these positions. Remember to use age-appropriate descriptions and language when discussing people in different job positions you interact with. For instance:
- Librarians manage the library and help students find books
- Plumbers install and repair water pipes
- Police officers help during an emergency and keep people safe
- Construction workers build roads and houses
3. Incorporate Career-related Materials
Incorporating career-related materials into the learning environment is another great way of introducing preschool children to future careers. This can be done through dramatic outfits, books, puzzles, games, or posters. Providing everyday exposure to career options reinforces what children learn about different professions.
4. Ask Questions That Inspire Imagination and Critical
While you should encourage children to be inquisitive, you should also ask your preschool children questions that drive imagination and critical thinking. Anytime you are sitting in traffic or waiting for food in a restaurant, ask your child questions that inspire creativity and prompt them to think deeply about workers in such environments. For instance:
- Why do you think the police officer stopped that vehicle?
- What does the plumber carry in the toolbox?
- How do vegetables reach the grocery store from the farm?
Remember that these questions don’t have a right or wrong answer. You should focus on finding out what your child thinks about the situation and not necessarily what’s the truth. Your child may give interesting answers and shouldn’t be judged based on them.
Parents, teachers, and guardians should influence children’s career choices positively. While the child will make decisions later in life, you should guide and help them explore what other people are doing. Help them research various careers and discuss their ideas and future plans extensively.