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Supporting students through the decision making process

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By Niamh Dwyer, Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors

Supporting a young person who is making career decisions can be daunting for parents and guardians.

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To begin with, the pressure of the Leaving Cert year is often felt by the household, not just the student themselves. Words of encouragement from you as parent or guardian, are often misinterpreted as extra pressure to achieve high grades. It is absolutely natural to want our young people to realise their potential at the end of their journey in secondary school but it is important to remember that lots of students don’t flourish in the Leaving Cert. Many do so when they find the pathway that they really like which suits their style of learning and facilitates them to develop skills and competencies that go far beyond the scope of the Leaving Cert exam.

Parents and guardians have a huge influence on a young person’s career path so taking time to discuss their ideas about what they are interested in is hugely valuable. By approaching the discussion in a friendly and encouraging way you take on the role of a career coach which means you can become the sounding board as they go through the process of making a decision. It is a process that can take some time so try to be as patient as possible as they explore different ideas. Often this can mean switching direction several times but that is all part of the stage that they are at. It is also really important to be as open as possible to the many different pathways now available to school leavers and to encourage your teenager to explore all avenues open to them. Listen to all their ideas without judgement but don’t be afraid to probe them on what it is they like about a particular course or option. Always encourage them to dig deeper!

DOING THE RESEARCH

Lots has changed since parents/guardians of the current cohort of young people left school so it is very understandable for you to feel inadequate to be able to guide them, but there is lots of help available. The first point of call is the school Guidance Counsellor. Encourage your son/daughter to make an appointment with their guidance counsellor and prepare questions with them in advance of the meeting. Attend any information sessions/career events held by the school even if you have gone through the process before with an older sibling. Each child is individual and lots of changes are taking place in the landscape of apprenticeships, and further and higher education, so make sure you are well informed. You can also do this by attending the virtual open days hosted by colleges or taking your son/daughter to the on-campus events where they are happening. Such events generally host an information session specifically aimed at parents to cover the move to college, finance, accommodation, access routes such as HEAR (Higher Education Access Route) and DARE (Disability Access Route to Education) and so on. I recommend that you explore the websites such as www.careersportal.ie, www.qualifax.ie, www.cao.ie, www.fetchcourses.ie, www.apprenticeships.ie, www.classroomguidance.ie, www.accesscollege.ie, and www.susi.ie, all of which have lots of information and resources.

WEBINAR

Parents and guardians are very important role models for young people making career decisions so discuss your own career journey with them, what helped or hindered you from making decisions when you were younger. It will help them to know that this is a process that everyone goes through, that you have been there too and that you understand that making a decision is stressful. It may also help to remind them that they are not deciding what they want to do for the rest of their lives, they are just planning the next step!

I will be hosting a free webinar for parents in association with the Education Centre Tralee on Tuesday next (November 16) at 7pm, ‘How to help your son/daughter make effective choices after the Leaving Cert’. To register see, www.edcentretralee.ie.

Niamh Dwyer is a Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore, and Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors. She is also a Careers Advisor - For details see www.mycareerplan.ie or follow @mycareerplan on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

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Get the gift of amazing skin this Christmas

By Jill O’Donoghue from Killarney Toning and Beauty Studio Treat your loved ones or yourself to a powerful professional skincare gift set. Rarely can you, or should you, get by with using one single skincare product. For a well-rounded skincare routine you have to at least use a cleanser, toner, serum, moisturiser and SPF. Whether […]

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By Jill O’Donoghue from Killarney Toning and Beauty Studio

Treat your loved ones or yourself to a powerful professional skincare gift set.

Rarely can you, or should you, get by with using one single skincare product. For a well-rounded skincare routine you have to at least use a cleanser, toner, serum, moisturiser and SPF. Whether you already know your hyaluronic acids, vitamins or are a skincare newbie, a Sothys skincare product will make the perfect gift. They are beautifully packaged and have great offers, e.g. half price serums.

Gift set 1: Youthful Skin hydration duo; €115, with hyaluronic acid. It’s a cream and serum set.

This rich, protective cream is recommended for dry, ageing skin. The patented formula ensures maximum hydration by forming a protective film on the skin and delivering hyaluronic acid via a cosmetics patch over an eight hour period. This highly effective intensive rehydrating serum is used to provide an immediate source of deep hydration and a lasting restore moisture. The skin will look and feel regenerated and smothered with an increase of up to 60% hydration and a notable reduction of transepidermal water loss.

Gift set 2 : Wrinkle specific set €128 (saving €50 purchase the cream and receive the serum half price).

This helps to smooth fine lines and wrinkles maintaining the skin tone and preserve an even complexion.

Gift set 3: Radiance Eye cream €62 or cyro eye roll-on (receive two free express eye patches).

For wrinkles, dark circles and puffiness, the cream visibly combats everyday eye contour concerns that can leave eyes looking dull and tired. Containing peptides for anti-wrinkle action and active ingredients to protect from blue light and to increase radiance.

Gift set 4: Detox Energie €122 (saving €44.50)

This is an amazing set; detoxifying, anti-pollution, rebalancing the microbiome and helps boost intracellular energy, and the skin regains it vitality and looks younger.

These are a few beautifully presented gift sets of our cosmetical professional skincare line. You can order by calling in or over the phone. For more information call Jill on 064 6632966.

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Killorglin mother and son pen poetry book

By Michelle Crean What do roses, wrens, King Puck, fairies and Santa Claus have in common? Well, all now feature in a new children’s book co-written by a mother and son. The new illustrated poetry collection for children, ‘A Very Kerry Year’, by Killorglin mother and son, Jacinta and Conor Browne, has been published just […]

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By Michelle Crean

What do roses, wrens, King Puck, fairies and Santa Claus have in common? Well, all now feature in a new children’s book co-written by a mother and son.

The new illustrated poetry collection for children, ‘A Very Kerry Year’, by Killorglin mother and son, Jacinta and Conor Browne, has been published just in time for Christmas.

And all proceeds will be donated to Comfort for Chemo, an organisation whose mission it is to build and equip a chemotherapy unit for the people of Kerry.

The charity is close to the young author’s heart as Conor himself was undergoing cancer treatment while writing this book.

With original poetry by the mother and son, the book also has another separate family connection as the talented illustrators are local artists, father-daughter duo Con and Rochelle Lucey, with each page awash with colour and beautiful drawings.

“I know first-hand how important it is to have a comfortable environment while receiving chemotherapy,” Conor said.

‘A Very Kerry Year’ is currently available for €12 from The Crystal Cave and the Reeks District Tourist Office in Killorglin and will soon be available in many more outlets throughout the county.

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