My friend Amy recently shared with me that she tells her kids, “Everything is figureoutable.” With most things in life, you can figure out a solution. While I knew this subconsciously, Amy’s words struck a chord, and maybe more so now when we as parents consistently face decisions we have to make.

  • Do we let our kids hang out with friends during the pandemic?
  • Should I let them go to the pool?
  • How will we navigate the school year when there are still questions to be answered?

I tell myself, “I got this,” and you do too. Think of times in your life when there was chaos. There were so many unknowns, and you didn’t know how you were going to get through it. What happened? How did you handle it? Are you able to look back on it now and be amazed that you got through the challenging situation? Or maybe you are telling yourself now that it wasn’t so bad.

I find it helpful to write down all my options when I have to make a tough decision. I also reach out to friends, research the internet, and ask moms’ groups questions to see how others are figuring out their situation. Then I write down the pros and cons of each option. When I see it in writing, it helps me make a better, thoughtful decision on what to do next.

Teens and parents can feel so overwhelmed when deciding what to do after high school. There are so many options and directions for careers and education to pursue. It feels like a big deal because it is. College is a HUGE investment. As parents, we don’t want to hear from our kids that they want to drop out of college, or after they graduate, say, “I don’t want a career in my major.”

How, as parents of high schoolers, do we avoid this fate? How do we make it figureaboutable? Here are some tips for you:

Talk to your teen about what they envision for themselves:

  • Do they want to go to college? Why do they want to go? Is it for a particular career or just for the experience? Would they rather attend a trade school or work after high school?
  • What careers are they are interested in and why? Is it just because “that is what you do,” and that’s all they know?
  • How long do they plan to live at home? When do they want to get an apartment? Buy a house?
  • What states or cities have they considered living in and why? What entices them about that area?

Start having these conversations during your student’s freshman year of high school. It allows you and your teen time to research and process the best path. Plus, you can potentially utilize programs like dual enrollment or internships to help offset college costs.

The college application process can be challenging. Take a look at my other blog posts with tips on applications, college prep, career planning, and other topics to help you figure things out. And check out the My Ideal College Countdown Organizer. It will save you and your teen countless hours and angst by helping you keep track of everything from 9th – 12th grade.