It’s 2018, and here you are, a mom or a dad with a teen (or teens, maybe) who is starting to plan for his future—what degree should he take for college, which school, what would he want to be, what career would be fun but would also pay the bills, and so on.
Then you look at yourself in the mirror, and have a look back when you were his age, “What did I want to be?” Then you realize, you haven’t really answered that question yourself, yet…or you’re still far from what you really want to be.
See, it’s quite unfair to ask kids all of these questions, and pressure them to decide right away as if they got more experience in life than you do as a real-life adult. As a parent, you can do so much more to guide your kids on which path would give them a sense of purpose and fulfillment.
Here are some ways to help your teens find their passion:
- Listen. Know their interests by having a light conversation with them during meal time or just anytime of the day. Know their interests by making your lines open.
- Be cool, let them explore. You know, as parents, you might have the tendency to be over-protective to your kids to the point that they perceive you as highly imposing. Teens aren’t toddlers, so, give them space to explore and grow. Guide them while supporting their interests as they live for the moment. Let them join workshops that will hone their skills. And if you have the time, join them too!
- Compliment them. Reinforce their confidence by letting them know that you see and appreciate their unique talents or abilities. This will help them become more confident in being at their best and in exploring more of their interests.
- Brainstorm with them. Again, communication is very important. Take time to brainstorm with them about the potential tracks they can take to further their talents and abilities. Maybe you can talk about some well-known people who excelled in specific fields related to your teens’ interests. Conversing with them need not to be formal. Just take it as a bonding time with them. Doing this kind of light talk will make them feel and understand that their interests are also important to you.
- It’s not about just earning money. Talk about what makes life meaningful. Emphasize that life is never just about money, but rather about doing things that satisfy their inner joy as a person. You may encourage them to do some volunteer activities with you that will engage them to the society they’re in. Let them see the world outside of their comfort zone, and let them realize how they can use their talents to contribute and better the world around them.
- Failure never defines them. Make them understand that failure is just another experience to learn from, and that it should never stop them from pursuing what interests them for the moment. Assure them that they have lots of time to figure things out in life!
- Lead by example. Pursue your passion, too! Show them it is never too late, even at your age, to learn and figure out whatever it is that makes you complete or purposeful as a person.
There are many ways to help you guide your kids in making decisions about their future. For more articles that will help you navigate your child’s student life, check out Edukasyon.ph’s Parent Portal Section.