A worried mom, Ruth, recently reached out to me. She said, “Our daughter, Hasana is a junior at the University of Georgia. She hates her classes and wants to drop out. We want her to get a degree, but we are at a loss on how to help her. We have already invested thousands of dollars into her college education.”

As a parent, I felt my stomach turn. No parent wants to hear this from their kid. All the hours and money spent finding and applying to colleges, thinking you had set up your teen for success.

I spoke with Hasana. She shared with me that her parents wanted her to get a degree in computer science. Her dad is a network engineer. There are many jobs in that field, and the salary is good. So Hasana decided to pursue that career. However, after she started college and began taking classes, she realized she really didn’t like working with computers that much. Quite frankly, she was miserable and feeling very lost. Hasana also felt like she was letting her parents down.

As parents, we have the best of intentions with our teens. It’s our responsibility to help guide and teach them to become responsible adults who can live on their own and work in a fulfilling career. However, our good intentions and guidance may be doing more harm than good.

How can you avoid the struggle and overwhelming stress Hasana and her parents are experiencing? Here are some tips:

  • Say to your teen, “Be honest. Do you feel like I am pushing you in a direction that you don’t feel is right for you?”
    • Be sure to pause after you ask this question. Give them time to process. If they say yes, then…
    • Talk with them about why they don’t like the career path.
    • Ask what careers they are interested in and why. Keep an open mind, and don’t dismiss a career because you think it won’t be prosperous.
    • Work with your teen to research the job outlook and salary of those careers. Get a clear idea of what it takes to get there.
    • Find professionals in that field and have your teen conduct informational interviews to learn more about the career. Many professions have organizations you can contact for referrals.

      Ruth shared that working with me really opened her eyes. She had no idea how much she and her husband were pushing Hasana down a path she really didn’t want. Now, they are open to other options and degrees. Their relationship with their daughter has improved too, now that they communicate better about the path she wants to take.

      Could you use more guidance with getting your teen on the right path? Click here to set up a complimentary strategy session with me.