Design in our everyday lives helps to solve problems in society and offer a delightful customer experience to the users when they use a particular product or service. This makes designers work with a problem solving/ solutions oriented approach in their strategy and ideation.
The real question comes in here is how can parents bring that creative approach to their children’s everyday lives that also involves them being problem-solvers. A parent can provide encouragement and support while also offering access to activities for the child that enable him/ her to master key skill sets and aid in their skill development. There are multiple studies that have already reflected that a child’s learning, socialization and behavioral patterns are largely influenced by their family, since the family is their primary social group. Once parents recognize their child’ potential, they can help and contribute towards development of these skill sets in their child by the following activities:
A. Certification in design courses/ Summer schools/ design classes
Joining art and design based classes can also help a student in building a unique skill set that aids for them to get ready for design school. While many independent courses and classes are available for short duration of a few weeks to a couple of months, many universities and colleges also run summer schools, similar to STEM programs and workshops for aspiring students in the field of design.
Parents can help their children identify such summer schools near them/ at esteemed universities and offer them a chance to explore and learn at the same time. Few of these also come with certification in say, Design Thinking, Product design using wood, Graphic Design, Software based design – like using Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and few others.
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B. Reaching out/ visiting to design colleges (department heads, career counselors, professors etc.)
Design schools today encourage parents to build a holistic learning space for their children while encouraging them to be problem solvers. In lieu to encourage to their children towards design studies, a key role parents can play is network via social platforms or via their network to reach out to design school dean’s, professors, associates and career counselors that can help the child to learn more on what a particular course offers, how to build the right portfolio for application towards design schools and what can the possible career opportunities be like in the next 3-5 years for the enrolling students.
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C. Join seminars, workshops and webinars offered by universities/ colleges
Encourage yourself to read more, join webinars, seminars for parents offered by many design schools around you. The aim here is to make sure you gain all the information possible to help yourself learn more on what is available in terms of different course offerings in the market, understand what works best for your child’s interest and their future career opportunities.
Design schools also offer a number of seminars, workshops and masterclasses for aspiring students to attend and get their doubts cleared. Parents here can play a key role in encouraging their children to attend such sessions at different colleges and gain as much insight into the offerings, course structure, and alumni groups while building a network for themselves.
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D. Encourage their child to join design groups/ design clubs
From schools, design colleges to independent circuit based groups, design clubs have been flourishing for decades. Similar to dance clubs or book reading clubs many schools, universities and independent circles run design clubs and groups. Sole purpose of this club/ group is to have a few fixed monthly meetings where they discuss, work collectively to share ideas, build prototypes and solve various societal/ team based issues using design.
Encouraging your child to join a design club can be a boost to their overall growth, including their interpersonal skill and communication development further to their approach in design ideation and building prototypes as well as working as a collective/team. This builds a strong character in students from the start which plays a crucial role in defining their career prospects as well.
Also read: Shift from human centric design to humanity centric design
E. e-learning platforms
With a large number of online learning platforms available today, parents can help their child sign up for a few basic level to intermediate level course that can help their child understand their key interests, if or not their interests lie within design sector, which particular field interests them the most, how easily are they able to understand the context and are they able to learn and work independently on various small scale projects these e-learning platforms offer.
These are some basic steps a parent can take to encourage their child towards a career in design. Working part time with designers as interns is another fine example that a parent can also help facilitate or encourage their child to find on their own.
Read more: Top trends shaping the UX design industry
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