Helping Your Child Identify Interests
What Activities Can Help Nurture My Child's Interests?
If your child has an interest in animals, he or she might like to:
- Join a 4-H club.
- Volunteer at a local veterinary clinic or zoo.
- Walk or care for a neighbor's dog.
If your child has an interest in art, he or she might like to:
- Design a personal website.
- Make birthday or holiday cards for relatives and friends.
- Create graphics for the school newsletter.
If your child likes to help people, he or she might like to:
- Be a summer camp counselor.
- Assist at a day care center.
- Teach a younger child to read.
If your child likes to build or repair things, he or she might like to:
- Build a radio or computer from a kit.
- Take apart an old appliance and put it back together.
- Design and build a bird house.
If your child likes sports, he or she might like to:
- Play on a sports team.
- Assist a coach.
- Umpire or referee community games.
I've Helped My Child Identify Interests - What's Next?
Talk with your child about how his or her interests relate to careers. If your child has an interest in outdoor work, help him or her explore careers, from gardening to oceanography. If your child wants to help people, explore careers from teaching to medicine.
If your child has a list of careers based on his or her interest assessments, help your child explore those careers, as well as similar careers. For example, if computer programming is a career listed on your child's interest assessment, help your child also explore information about web development, video game development, network technology and computer support occupations.
Information about careers and the interests that relate to careers is available from a variety of resources.
- Contact your state's Career Resource Network office. Most Career Resource Network offices have career information systems that you and your child can access from home. A list of offices is available at: http://www.acrnetwork.org/network.
- America's Career InfoNet is available on the Internet at: http://www.acinet.org/acinet.
- The U.S. Department of Labor publishes the Occupational Outlook Handbook, available at your local library, or online at: http://www.bls.gov/oco/home.htm.
- Your local library has career information books and publications, as well as Internet access to explore online career information.
How do I Help My Child Choose a Satisfying Career?
People choose careers for a variety of reasons.
- Some people focus on what they have grown up around and choose the same career as their parents.
- Some choose a career based on salary.
- Others "fall into" a career because they start working for a company and decide to stay there.
Think about your own career search. Did you choose your career based on what you like to do? If not, do you wish you had?
Research shows that yoru child will be more satisfied with his or her career chioce if that choice is based on your child's interests and the activities that he or she enjoys most.
Reprinted with the permission of the U.S. Department of Education.
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