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How to Talk About College and Careers With Your Teen

The Vermeire's come together for a family dinner, sharing the day's stories from school, work and track practice. Each of the girls have different daily routines dependent on school activities, chores and after school employment. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Bennie J. Davis III)

photo credit:  (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Bennie J. Davis III)

Sometimes parents get the big eye roll when they try to discuss college and careers with their teenagers. Teens get college and career advice all the time. Everyone has an opinion about their aspirations, interests, etc. So how can you have a powerful discussion with your teen about college and careers?

“You should be a …..” 

Ask you teen what career interests they have, but don’t tell them what to be. Even if you notice a talent they have that would make them suitable for a particular path if they have no interest in that area they will not be able to excel in that field. Try suggesting a career rather than telling them what they should do. “Have you thought about …….” “Do you know anything about ……”

You can be whatever you want to be.

While this is a supportive approach it is not the best way to help your teen. This statement gives them no guidance. Ask your teen questions about careers. Talk about choices together.

If it’s hard then don’t do it.

This is not something parents should say to students. We need to encourage our children to take on challenges and persevere. Challenging things make us stronger. We learn from challenging experiences. I know we want our children to take on a career that will not be stressful or cause emotional pain, but at the same time some people see a job as overwhelming and others may see the same job as an opportunity. Don’t discourage your teen. If you think they mention a career that is challenging explore the pros and cons together.

Picture yourself 10 years from now. Where are you? What are you doing? Who is around you?

Do you have a career vision?

What do you want to get really good at doing?

What is your definition of work?

What impact do you want to have on other people’s lives or in the world?

Whom do you admire most? What qualities do you admire in that person. (living or dead)

What is most important to you? What do you value?

What motivates you?

Do you believe that you can love what you do and make money doing it?

The best thing you can do for your teen is listen to them, ask them about their interests, and guide them to making choices best suited for them.

Melanie Black is an Associate Certified Academic Life Coach and mindfulness educator. She is passionate about helping others and learning all she can in the process. With ten years of experience in the field of education, she is determined to help students succeed in school and life. “ One of my goals is to continue to be a humanitarian who helps our local community. I am passionate about my relentless pursuit of knowledge and desire to help others.“

Teens and Parents: The Power of a Book

Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/pictoquotes/

Remember the days when you read bedtime stories to your child? You had a chance to cuddle and talk. Wouldn’t you love to be able to have that closeness again? Even though your teen has probably outgrown bedtime stories there is another way to get that connection.

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/criminalintent/

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/criminalintent/

With Audible by Amazon you can listen to books and connect with your teen. Listening to books in the car together can prompt some powerful discussions. It’s sure to improve communication with your teen and make them feel more comfortable about talking to you in the future. You will be creating some valuable memories with this special time you spend together. Obviously the books you choose are important. Below are some suggestions but you could have a lot of fun making a list together. FYI: Sometimes there are opportunities for FREE books! Yay!

Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/pictoquotes/

Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/pictoquotes/

Non-Fiction

7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens By Sean Covey

The 6 Most Important Decisions You’ll Ever Make By Sean Covey 

A Teen’s Guide to Success: How to Be Calm, Confident, Focused By Ben Bernstein Ph.D.

The Secret to Teen Power By Paul Harrington

If You Think You Can! for Teens: Thirteen Laws for Creating the Life of Your Dreams By TJ Hoisington

 Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, a Young Man, and Life’s Greatest Lesson by Mitch Albom

Fiction

The Giver By Lois Lowry

To Kill A Mockingbird By Harper Lee

The Catcher in the Rye By J.D. Salinger

The Outsiders By S.E. Hinton

Harry Potter Series By J.K. Rowling

The Hunger Games By Suzanne Collins

 

mel professional photo by kateMelanie Black is an Associate Certified Academic Life Coach and mindfulness educator. She is passionate about helping others and learning all she can in the process. With ten years of experience in the field of education, she is determined to help students succeed in school and life. “ One of my goals is to continue to be a humanitarian who helps our local community. I am passionate about my relentless pursuit of knowledge and desire to help others.