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See and strive for a great future
I want to encourage my children to attend college, but I don’t want to make them feel like they have to. How do I get them to see the importance of education through the years of growing up? And how do I accept if my little artist has different plans?
Education is, without a doubt, extremely important. I do firmly believe that every child should be given an opportunity and encouraged to learn as much as they can. Children should be shown the joys of reading, and let to explore the wonders of science. And if they like numbers, they should be provided with the chance to advance their skills. Young people need to be encouraged to find what they enjoy and to embrace their interests.
A part of the situation is inspiring these kids as they grow. We don’t want to force reading on them. We want to introduce them to a world of great stories and information at their fingertips with the turn of every page. (Or tap of the screen, for the digital reader folks.) We want to motivate them to seek out information and pursue their dreams as a result. It’s one of the big secrets to life, I think… inspiring folks over pressuring.
Just remember that all is not lost if a four-year university is not in the future for everyone. So many well-respected career paths are not smushed into that tiny little perfect box, especially in this day and age. I feel like there is still a stigma attached to many trade professions, but I can’t imagine why there would be. Many well-paying high demand professions are not the type that hire a traditional university graduate.
What’s more, job security has changed drastically. There are shortages of workers in extremely important places all over the world. Yet I constantly meet young people who graduated with a degree in something-or-another that cannot find work. They’d have happily skipped the mountains of student loan debts to attend a technical school and be working consistently, but they were pressured into “the right path”.
Be an ally, a cheerleader, and an inspiration to your kids. Be an example of what you’d like them to achieve, and this will go leaps and bounds over pressuring and guilting them. Be a light in the dark, not the dark crowding in on someone. Remember the most important thing is that they see and strive for a great future… not that it meets any arbitrary expectations of someone else.