Helping good dads to be GREAT DADS!
Being a dad is one of the most rewarding experiences a man can have in life.
Thank you to everyone that has started to make comments, share your own experiences and ask questions on the subject of fatherhood. My dream for this site is that it becomes a hub for dads to encourage each other and learn from one another. I love to hear your stories, so keep ‘em coming.
I am noticing an exciting trend upwards of hits to this site and have started to get phone calls booking me up for speaking engagements on fatherhood stuff. Keep telling others of this service, the word is getting out there about Good dads GREAT DADS.
I am feeling proud of my second son today as he begins day one of his plumbing apprenticeship. I always wanted a plumber, an electrician and a mechanic in my family. We are off to a good start. Watching my son over the last three years as he navigated his way through his last schooling years, took a year off to work, applied himself to other short-term work opportunities and generally try to decide what road he wanted to choose for his working life, has made me all the more aware that it is not easy finding the road. As dads we may have much wisdom to offer but we also need to know when to back off and let them find their way without interference.
I have learned from both my experience, and that of observing my three sons as they transition from schooling life into working life, that finding the vocational road is not easy and not necessarily immediate. Some young people know what they want to do early. They have a road map and simply follow it one step at a time to reach their vocational destination. Most, it would seem, do not.
As dads we try mentor, guide and encourage our sons and daughters toward wise educational and vocational choices. We try to get them to look at a range of options. There are other voices competing with ours. Relatives, mates, partners, careers counsellors and the like, all have ideas to offer. Our kids need to make wise decisions for themselves and there comes a time when we need to back off and allow them to make their decisions without us asking the full list “what if” scenario type questions.
Here are few suggestions that may be helpful along the way;
1. Expose your child to a range of options through career exhibitions and open days at universities or Tafes.
2. Ask them coaching type questions like what is it you love to spend your time doing? What type of job would allow you to do this as part of the overall day to day work? What are some key aspects that you would like or dislike in a job? (this helps to zero in on a smaller range of options eg indoors/ outdoors, admin or not, people contact or task etc.
3. Let them know that you are there to have a level-headed conversation about where they might be heading or choices they are considering, but make it clear that they need to ask for your advice because you don’t want to interfere. (reinforces their adult status)
4. Encourage them to talk with others that are in the industry they are considering to get first hand insight.
5. Suggest they consider a week or two work experience before they commit (even for no pay).
As a professional life coach, I have naturally wanted to help my kids with their decision-making. I have had to learn to back off.
Finding the road is a very important step in your child’s life.
What have you done to help your child find their vocational pathway? Do you have any further tips to offer other dads facing similar challenges? Choose the comment option and let us know.
Enjoy helping your kids find the road, and then be there as a support as they journey along it.