As your high school senior prepares to graduate, the thought of what they would like to do with their life has undoubtedly been on everyone’s mind. Whether they plan on attending a college or university after graduation or go on to learn a trade, they will need to come up with a career of interest so they know what path to follow.
You spend more hours at work each week than you do awake with your loved ones so it’s very important to choose a career that you are passionate about. When you work in a profession that you love, you will perform better and be more fulfilled. For those reasons, it’s important that you help your teen find something that they’ll love to do and then investigate different paths they can take to get there.
Keep in mind, just because your teen chooses one career field today doesn’t mean that they won’t change their mind and switch it up along the way. In fact, the National Center for Education Statistics said that college students change their major an average of three times during their college career. Choosing a career can be stressful and once they get immersed into the focused courses in college, they may realize it’s not what they thought it was going to be. Think of it this way, it’s better for them to find out while they are still in college than to suffer in a career that they hate for their whole adult life.
Thankfully, there are some things you can do to help your teen choose a career that will be the perfect fit for them.
Discuss your teen’s strengths and passions.
The perfect way to do this is by taking an aptitude test. There are different aptitude tests you can take and career counselors can provide you with their top, trusted resources. Your teen shouldn’t necessarily go with the career path that they predict if they don’t think it would be a good fit, but it will bring to light their strengths and if they take multiple tests, they’ll see a trend that will reveal fields they are passionate about.
Uncover passions through activities.
People learn a lot about themselves by being exposed to various activities. Nature, museums, travel, different cultures…these are all things that your teen should be exposed to. You will notice areas that they get excited about or pique their interest more than others. They may want to explore career fields related to those areas of interest.
Get your teen in touch with a mentor.
Does your teen show a strong interest in a particular career field? Try to find someone that they could job shadow a few times. This person could also mentor them and give them guidance as they obtain the necessary training. The mentor should be someone who is a positive role model and someone who is an inspiration to them. A great mentor can change the course of someone’s life forever.
Trust that your teen knows their interests better than you do.
It’s hard to step back and let your child figure things out on their own, and this is no exception. Keep in mind that they are their own person. They know what interests them and what they are passionate about. You can gently mention pros and cons of the careers that they mention but remember, just because something doesn’t interest you doesn’t mean it’s not an interesting career to your teen.
Be their rock through the good and the bad.
Raising a teen requires a lot of patience and understanding. Choosing a career can be a long process filled with self-discovery, trials, and tribulations. Be patient with your teen and be there as they grow into the wonderful adult they are destined to be!
We have a lot of resources and guidance for your teen that will help them as they prepare to graduate. Head over to our Facebook page and stay in the know!
If your teen chooses to go the college route, check out this article on scouting colleges and if you have any other questions about how our program prepares students for life after high school, give us a call at 800-297-2119.
Teenagers are forced with life-changing decisions each and every day. Pressures to smoke, drink alcohol, do drugs, and have sex are coming at them left and right during these formative years and having positive adult role models in their lives will help your teen make the right decisions and stay on the right path.
Teens might not realize it, but their behavior and the decisions they make can have consequences that last their entire life. At that age, teens don’t have a total understanding about how their actions today can affect their later years. This is where having a loving, guiding, nurturing adult comes into play. Conversations adults have with teens can motivate them to do the right thing when faced with these decisions and give them the tools they need to get themselves out of sticky situations. Adult role models also lead by example so lead the best life possible and the teens around you will notice.
There are many ways adults can be positive role models in the lives of teenagers. We’re going to give you some ways you can be a positive presence and help encourage those around you starting today!
Modeling Positive Behavior
As an adult, you can have a MAJOR impact on the lives of those around you, and that can be a positive impact or a negative one – it’s up to you and the behavior that you model. When you set a positive example and lead a life of integrity, honesty, and self-worth, are diligent, hard-working, honest, and are kind toward others, those around you (including teens) will learn from your example. If you help hold open the door for an elderly person or a mom who is struggling to push her stroller into a store, this models to others around you the polite, caring, and thoughtful thing to do. If you notice someone struggling and don’t hold the door because you are in a hurry and only worried about yourself, that teaches those around you a lot too. Do the right thing and lead by example. Others are watching your actions more than you might realize.
Show the teens around you that you care and are interested in them by spending good, quality time with them. Studies have shown that spending time with your teen can help boost their self-esteem and give them a greater feeling of self-worth. It’s a great time to bring up their strengths and encourage them to put them to good use. For example, if you notice that your teen likes shooting hoops in the driveway and is pretty good at it, this would be a great time to tell them that you noticed their passion and excellence in basketball and encourage them to try out for the local basketball team. Does your teen have a passion for helping others? Spend some quality time together helping the community by volunteering at a local soup kitchen or shelter. Show your teen that you are really focused on them by actively listening. This let’s your teen feel more connected, shows that you care about what they are talking about, and reinforces social skills.
The Benefits Are Abundant
The more positive adult role models a teen has in their life, the better. Research has proven that those with three or more positive role models directly relates to how likely they are to succeed, resist using drugs, alcohol, and tobacco, and those teens typically have a higher rate of graduation. It is thought that teens with multiple good role models are equipped with the skills to effectively refuse what is being offered to them and stand up for what they think is right. These skills can help get teens out of tricky situations. Teens with positive role models have also decided to pursue more challenging careers. This is likely due to the fact that they feel they have the support backing their decision.
Non-Parental Role Models
Role models come in many forms; they don’t have to be limited to the teen’s parents. Often times, non-parental role models can “get through” to teens when their parents can’t. While parents are still the main role models in their children’s lives, it’s important to welcome other supportive, positive adult role models into the fold as well. There are many great options out there but make sure the role models you welcome into your teens lives are positive, encouraging, and lead by good example. Older siblings, teachers, coaches, older relatives, pastors, and trusted neighbors are all examples of people who could be excellent role models for your teen. Everyone brings different perspectives, skills, and outlooks to the table so appreciate them and the influence they have. You never know who might light a fire in your child and encourage them to lead their best life!
Adults have the important task to inspire, motivate, and encourage teens and those around them to persevere and strive to reach their goals. These role models also encourage teens to lead a positive, contributing life. It’s not always an easy task, but the rewards are worth it! How do you act as a positive role model for your teen? Leave a comment below and head over to our Facebook page to share your thoughts with other parents and role models in the My Virtual Academy community. We’d love to hear from you!