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If your child has a dream to pursue an off-beat career, don't discourage her. Instead, if you stand by her she is more likely to achieve her dreams.

Mala was working in the Public Relations department of a top five star hotel. She was very happy with her job, took home a fairly respectable pay cheque every month, and was considered by all to be a successful career woman. However, she had an incredibly melodious voice, and although she had never received any formal music training, she could sing the most difficult of songs beautifully, and perfectly in tune. She had a friend who had received formal music training for years, and still was no match for Mala. Not many people had heard her sing, since her talent was never really recognized by many people. She would only sing in the shower, and in the office, once in a while, when humming a popular song. Every now and again someone would tell her that she had an incredible talent and should pursue singing seriously, but as she had never had formal training, she discarded their advice, pretty sure she didn't have what it took to be a good singer.

She then got married, and told her husband that she had always dreamt of becoming a singer, but didn't believe she could do it. Her husband immediately arranged for an instructor. Mala started training, and after a few years there was no looking back from her. She is now doing extremely well singing jingles for advertisements. It will take her time before she can sign a contract for an album of her own, but now she has faith in her abilities.

All too often we meet people who have a certain dream, but don't have the confidence in their abilities to pursue their dream. They discard their dreams and take on a more traditional career. However, the wish that they should be doing something else never ends, with the result that they never find true fulfillment in what they are doing at present. They may not even meet with the success that could have been theirs had they been doing something else.

Your child's career is something that she may be doing for the rest of her life. This is not a decision that should be taken lightly. It should be a well thought out and well planned decision.

Identify your child's talent

Try and identify your child's talents at the outset. There are certain fields which require an inborn talent, and certain others which don't and adequate training will suffice. If you find that your child is an excellent golfer, which requires an inborn talent, do try and encourage her to pursue it seriously.

Don't discourage her

If she herself expresses a desire to pursue it as a career, don't scoff at her and talk to her about how much competition is out there, how few people make it, etc. Instead, provide her with all the encouragement she needs, and make sure you are there for her every step of the way. Help her plan out a schedule, and try and provide her with the best training you can afford.

Help her balance her priorities

Parents often believe that extra-curricular activities are pursued at the cost of studies. Nothing could be further from the truth. There are a number of children who excel in their studies and in various extra-curricular activities. This is because these activities are in fact pursued at the cost of watching television, hanging around the house doing absolutely nothing, or spending too much time with friends.

Make it very clear that she would have to sacrifice all those hours in front of the television, and that she would have to sacrifice some - not all - time with her friends - but that she cannot sacrifice her studies! If you are by her side and work with her to help her fulfill her dreams, the sky is the limit - and one day she is sure to make you proud!

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