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The one BIG Question we really have to stop asking our Teens!

Posted on 15 March 2020
The one BIG Question we really have to stop asking our Teens!

As a parent to two young adults, I get it! I understand the pressure we're all under to make sure our teenagers choose the right degree, college course, job etc. However, honestly, I think we just need to stop and 'breatheeeee' as it's got waaay out of control!

No, neither of my sons have figured out what to do with the rest of their lives and that's perfectly fine by me! At this 'impressionable' age, they're just trying to just figure out 'who they are', never-mind have the added pressure to know what they want to do for a 'career'.

I'm seeing the effects this kind of stress in having on students in our coaching sessions, and it's not good! The pressure is getting to our kids big-time in one way or another. It seems the more we pay for private education, the more parents feel they are entitled to demand their teen 'should' just know what they will be doing!  Don't get me wrong, it's great if your teen falls into that small percentage of students who have always known what they want to do, but that leaves about 90% that don't. So then what? My suggestion is this :-

Please stop asking them the 'big question'-What job do you want to do when you leave school'? Instead, help them to discover 'who they are' first and then figure out their 'best direction' forward and next steps (you may just see them visibly draw a deep breath of relief!).

Here's how you can make a start:-

Begin to help them get clear about their attributes & strengths?
Discover what 'lights them up' and when you see that 'spark' in their face?
What do they really enjoy (even Xbox can have a quality of 'teamwork' in their somewhere!!),
What are their passions/interests?
What are things they are just come 'naturally' to them? What talents lay lurking within them?

As their parents, we have to be stay connected with our teenagers and not be so busy, we don't have our finger on the pulse, to carefully observe what it is going on with them. The idea is to help them begin to form some kind of picture, sketching in ideas and putting the pieces of the jigsaw together. It's not something you can rush, but more something to focus on.

By the end of this year, it's predicted there will be 200 new jobs which have not existed before! With the employment market continuing to change at such a break-neck speed, it's making our heads spin, it's time for parents to realize 'success' is not the linear line it used to be. It is more a set of squiggly lines, with many roundabouts thrown in for good measure. It's predicted Gen z'er's will change career pathways at least 6 times and we are just going to have be ok with it!

Organisations and businesses across the world are beginning to require far more than academic achievement when seeking new staff. What they look for now are students who are 'savvy-smart'; those who can demonstrate great self-leadership skills, come up with great ideas and solutions and able to make an active contribution in the new-style workplace.

And, by the way, I hasten to add, I don't mean the 'I can live at home till I am 35 without paying a cent towards anything' attitude! Let them fund their own dreams by flipping burgers, or doing whatever it takes, but, our job is to encourage them to enjoy the journey and let them take care on their own destination.

P.S If you need any help with this, I am just one phone call away! This is my area of expertise and my coaching package 'Getting on-track for students' could be the ticket! I coach students on-line (anywhere in the world) or face to face from my lovely offices here in Perth.



Tags: finding their way next steps MOTIVATION finding direction

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Karen Claridge | Coaching for Success | Edge Coaching Academy | Student Coaching Perth