It’s that time of year where all parents are just as stressed, if not more stressed than their high school junior/senior. College, scholarships, and job applications are the only things that are on your mind. Whether it is reviewing your child’s application or nagging them to start one, the tension is there and the stakes are high.
However, helping your child prepare for the future after high school does not have to be difficult. This is a time for you to help your child put forward the best, authentic version of themselves.
Here are 3 ways to help your child prepare for the future, in addition to listening and asking questions.
1. Encourage Time Management
Students often go off to college not knowing how to properly manage their time. Work with your child to develop time management skills early on to help them prepare for life after high school. More tips can be found here.
2. Encourage Goal Setting
Every student has dreams and aspirations for their life beyond high school. Whether these dreams involve going to college, finding the perfect job, or traveling the world, setting goals that helps students:
- Prioritize and clarify what is important to them
- Improve decision making
- Facilitate effective visualization
- Increase awareness of one’s strengths and weaknesses
- Build responsibility
- Find a sense of purpose
- Take a more active role in their future
- Write clear and measurable goals by setting upper bound.
- Create a specific action plan for each goal.
- Read goals daily and visualize accomplishing them.
- Reflect on progress to see if your child is on target.
- Revise action plans if needed.
- Celebrate accomplishments.
3. Watch for the Spark
Teenagers are constantly grappling with the idea about life after high school. How will they make a living? How will take their experiences, skills, and talents to the outside world? Jennifer Tanner, a developmental psychologist and co-founder of the Society for the Study of Emerging Adulthood, emphasizes the importance of finding a purpose in life. Realizing how teenagers are going to contribute to the world through their gifts, their interests, and their passions is critical in developing a sense of well-being and the need for autonomy, belonging, and competence in growing up. The graph below helps visualize how their strengths, values, work, and impact on the world intersect as their purpose in life.
Our children are not only the most important people in our lives, they are the future. Sign up for the premium version of Spect to help your child prepare for their future.