A parent’s role is to help guide our kids into becoming thoughtful, self-sufficient, successful adults. We have years of successes, challenges, and failures to share in hopes our kids take our wisdom to heart and act on it.
Yet we are often met with eye rolls or hearing statements like “I know mom” or “Times are not like when you were growing up.”
If you think about it, you probably did the same thing, at least occasionally, when your parents did this. I know I did.
There is one phrase that can almost guarantee a teen shutdown. That is, “You should …” Yes, I get it, our intention comes from a place of only wanting to help and impart our wisdom. But teens, if they are not ready to hear it, it will just fall flat. In their mind, your experience has nothing to do with their situation and they resent you for trying to be an authority on something that you “couldn’t possibly understand.”
Sometimes, teens will listen to others more than their parents. Even it is the same advice. I worked with a student and told him a bioengineering career could be a good fit for him based on the data. His mom shouted I said that to him that two years ago!
Most people think with what I do that my kids must know exactly what they want to do, where they are going to school, etc. One does, but my other kid is resisting because “I’m mom.”
On the flip side, your teen may take your wisdom to heart. It could send them down the wrong path.
Ben wanted to pursue a career in audiovisual arts. His parents were ok with that but said he should go to college for it. Ben didn’t want to go to college. He knew he could go to a technical school for this. However, he did go to college and ended up dropping out a year and a half later. Not because of the audiovisual classes but the standard required courses for all students. Ben ended up fine. He went to a technical school and got a job in audiovisual arts and is loving it. However, his parents were $26,000 in debt from that year and a half of college.
There is Bree, who was a junior at GA Tech majoring in Engineering who wanted to drop out. She didn’t like the classes. Bree didn’t want to pursue a degree like her parents told her she should do. In working with Bree, she had a passion for art and is now pursuing a degree in visual arts. Bree’s mom said, “working with me opened up a line of communication that she didn’t realize was needed between her and her daughter.”
What should, pun intended, you do instead to help your teen identify their career path to pick the best education?
Ask questions like:
- What activities could you see yourself doing every day?
- What classes do you wish were taught in high school? Why?
- What do you like doing that your friends don’t?
- What do you wish you had more time to do?
When you first have these conversations, you may get vague answers like “I love to play video games.” But the key point is you are starting to plant the seed in them to start thinking about what they enjoy and why they enjoy it. These conversations will help you create a game plan for getting your teen on a career path to the right job—one that sets them up for success. In these competitive times, starting early is also increasingly important to ensure your teen can land the right career.
Would you like a fast pass in identifying jobs your teen would enjoy? Schedule a complimentary Strategy Session with me where we will take a deep dive into where you are, where you want to be, and identify gaps.