While you may have helped your child decide which GCSEs to study, as they get older the decisions about their education and career be tough. This is especially true if you and your teenager don’t agree on what direction they should take. Perhaps you have your own set of dreams for your teen to follow, but they don’t seem to agree and want to do something else entirely? Of course, you just want the best for your child and are trying to guide them in what you believe is the best direction. But, your way may not be the best way for them any longer and there are plenty of different routes to the same career these days.
With university fees being a concern for many families, it is of little surprise that many young people are now looking at apprenticeships as a real option. Choosing between university and an apprenticeship is something that you want to help your child do, so it is worth researching both options properly before making any decisions. Aside from money issues, there are other factors to consider, such as the chances of getting a job at the end of it all and the type of training available (on-the-job vs. academic).
If your teen has a good idea of what they would like to do as a career you may want to search for any available apprenticeships in your area. By doing some research you will be able to present an informed opinion to your teen and really help them by showing what you have found. Using this sort of information and showing the pros and cons of each option will also make it seem less like you are ‘nagging’ or pressuring them into one or another.
Some teens have no idea what they want to do, so it may even be best to let them explore the world of work to see what is out there. There are plenty of jobs available for school leavers, and they can always go back to do some more study later.
Deciding upon options, whether they are for A levels or even after can be a stressful time for both teenagers and their parents, but the more you can work through things together the better it is. Try to pay attention to what your teenager wants, listen to their ideas, and maybe you can use your own experience to help them make the right choice.
However, don’t let yourself be too swayed by what you did when you were their age. Times are constantly changing and you have to remember your son or daughter have to find a way that suits them. That said, if you do your research (you can even ask our dedicated ‘Advice Centre’ if you have questions), then you will at least know that you are making an informed choice – rather than one based on emotion or hearsay.
Helping your teen make the right choice for the future may seem like a huge moment for you both, but no decision needs to close the door on another – whether academic or vocational.