Prepare your child for a future full of change

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By Susan Pohorski

Gone are the days when employees take a job and remain in that position until they retire 30 years later. Change is the new normal in the world of work. The future looks bright for individuals who can adapt and be flexible.

So how do you prepare your child for that world? Help them learn that things do not always remain the same and they can survive. Even a career that seems perfect for them may evolve to incorporate new technologies or may someday be eliminated.

For example, when I began my career I wrote on an electric typewriter. Soon computer terminals took over offices and I had to learn to use that technology. More recently, the Internet and social media have made radical changes in my field. Once again, I had to learn to use the new technology and adapt to these changes. Rather than quit my job and look for something else or become depressed, I enrolled in some classes.

Remember you are your child’s most influential teacher. How you respond to change will set an example for them. Do you grumble and complain when your boss asks you to take on new duties? Are you fearful about changes in the workplace? Or do you look on the changes with a positive attitude, welcoming the opportunity to learn something new.

Talk with your child about the changes in their own lives -- moving to a new home, changing schools, even moving up to the next grade in school. Help them look on the bright side. He might like his new teacher even more than the current one. She won’t have to sit next to ______________ any more. Think of all the possibilities!

Remind your son or daughter of all the positive things that came with a change in the past. Praise him or her for adjusting. This will give your child the courage to face more changes in the future without fear.

You can also help your child develop resilience by assuring him or her that despite the changes around them, your relationship will always endure and your affection for them will not change.

What are some of the ways you have helped your child accept and adapt to change?

More on this topic:

Resilient Kids are Happy Kids by Alexandra Delis-Abrams, Ph.D.

Supporting Student Resilience in the Classroom By Steve Gardiner