Helping Your Teen Prepare for the Future
There are two questions that all teens ask themselves: Who am I? What do I want to do? As a parent you can help your son or daughter answer these questions.
First of all, you can help your son or daughter build his or her own values. You can talk about your values and why they are important. You can expose your son or daughter to a spiritual and religious foundation.
Find lots of opportunities to talk about values and character. Start the conversation by asking about something somebody did in a movie or TV show, for example.
Second, help your son or daughter identify his or her own goals. Does he or she want to go to college or trade school after high school, or get a job? Is there something your son or daughter loves to do – you can help him or her learn how that could lead to a job in the future.
Help your son or daughter set short and long-term goals. Short-term goals could include things like “get good grades this semester” or “take a summer course in design.” Long-term goals can include graduating high school, going to trade school or college, getting a job in a certain field, and getting married.
Help your son or daughter understand that the choices he or she makes today can make a difference for their future. Give him or her examples. For example, getting pregnant or getting a girl pregnant could change her or his life forever. On the other hand, getting good grades today means he or she will have lots of choices after high school, and that can mean a better job when he or she grows up.
Finally, one of the best ways to help prepare your son or daughter for the future is to make sure he or she knows you love him or her. And be available. Whether you are a mother, father, grandparent, or guardian, whether you are married or single, you need to be available for your child, pre-teen, or teen. And that’s true whether or not your son or daughter lives with you. Go to Enjoying a Good Relationship with Your Son or Daughter to learn more.
Reprinted with the permission of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
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