Should Parents Have an Active Role in Choosing Their Student’s College Major?

student's college major

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  • Needless to say, the answer to this question is “yes”, but it’s very difficult to define what “active” would mean in this case.

    Namely, some parents are too eager to impose their opinion on their kids and they justify that approach by repeating that they only want the best for their kids.

    While that is true for every parent, certain limits of involvement need to exist.

    Parents work hard to provide for their kids and most of them try to give them the best possible education, hoping that their kids will thus have much better and more satisfying jobs, which is necessary for their happiness and feeling of accomplishment. More often than not, parents pay for their kids’ college education, so it’s only fair that they have a say when it comes to choosing the college major. But the question remains: what is the right amount of involvement?

    Accept That They are Grown-ups

    As your kids grow, they rely less and less on you. However, there is one thing that never changes. The fear of disappointing their parents is deeply rooted in most kids. That means that your kids are likely to consult you when it comes to choosing their college major and they’ll be only too happy if your wish is the same as theirs.

    On the other hand, if that’s not the case, you shouldn’t neglect their wishes, but try to explain why you feel your ideas are valid. Under no circumstances should you force your kids to study something they are not interested in.

    Start Talking About It Early

    Don’t wait for the final year of high-school to talk to your kid about their future plans. Instead, remain active throughout their education and monitor their progress. If you realize that they excel in some field, make sure you encourage them to pursue it.

    Also, try to help them if they’re struggling with a certain subject, but you feel that it might be crucial for their overall academic success. Hiring a reliable private math tutor, for example, should help them improve their knowledge and grades, as well as boost their confidence, which is priceless when it comes to their academic career.

    Monitor the Job Market

    Things have changed dramatically since the parents of today’s teenagers were choosing their career paths, so you can’t expect that the same elements should be considered. Some new careers have emerged, while many old ones have become obsolete. Also, many jobs now require different sets of skills than before. That’s why it’s vital you keep your eye on both the market and your kid’s progress.

    Money or Passion?

    Ideally, your kid and you will be happy with the choice they make, since they enjoy it and it can help them get well-paid jobs. Unfortunately, that is often not the case.

    With so much focus nowadays being placed on financial security and self-sufficiency, it’s difficult to neglect that aspect and simply follow your heart. So, try to find a compromise that would suit both your kid and you, since you don’t want them to be forever dependent on your financial help, but you also don’t want to push them in a direction they don’t feel comfortable with.


    Look Beyond College

    Rarely does the college mark the end of one’s education. Your kid is probably thinking about post-graduate studies and various types of specialisation they could take. Be their partner in investigating the options and point out advantages and disadvantages of different options. Still, make sure your kids are actively involved in looking into various possibilities and don’t let them sit and wait for you to do all the research.

    College years can be the most amazing years in your kid’s life, which is why it’s important that you, as their parent, do your best to help them make the right choice and encourage them along the way. They probably lack your practicality and experience and wouldn’t be able to finance their own college education, so try your best to assist as much as you can.

    other valuable tips:

    Hopefully, the decision regarding their college major will be to mutual satisfaction and your kid will go on to become a satisfied individual, doing the job they like and earning enough to support themselves and their future family. However, for that to happen, you need to lay the foundations well before college.

    Image Credit: Pixabay

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