- How Involved Should Parents Be in Their Adolescent's Life: Education
- A Parent’s Role in Educational Guidance: Communication
- Supporting Your Child’s Choices
- Educational Guidance for Parents: Encouragement
- Guidance: Helping Your Child Make Good Choices
- Positive Influences: Sharing Experiences and Providing Assistance
"Adolescence is a time of uncertainty, stuffed with expectations and glazed with rebellion." -Christiaan van der Spuy
Many people might wonder which part of life is the most turbulent and confusing. Some may claim that old age is difficult because of various health problems or early adulthood because you're starting everything out and always out of money and time. Nevertheless, I strongly believe that the most intense part of a person's life is without a doubt, adolescence. The period between 13 to 17 is pure bewilderment and uncertainty. Why? You're insecure because your body is uncontrollably growing and forming, frequent breakouts of acne, feelings of isolation, disagreements with adults (especially with your parents), and to make things worse you're trying to look attractive to the opposite sex when all is falling apart. Sounds fun, right? Also, to intensify the already heightening feelings of anxiety, teenagers in the last years of secondary school, during the GCSEs, must decide what they will do with their future. Thankfully, a lot of teenagers believe that their parents’ opinions are important when it comes to choosing what they study at A-Levels that will define their further education course decisions. However, it is important to mention that the majority of parents don’t always know exactly how to help and guide their child in an effective manner. Since the struggles of adolescence are already are enough to deal with, even if teenagers won't admit it, they need their parents' assistance to guide them through the GCSEs and A-Levels in secondary school or decide upon a vocational course or choose the university programme that will best suit them. Nevertheless, parents need to be careful not to confuse pressuring with helping and try to help in an extremely passive manner. Teenagers want and need support or reassurance from their parents to know that they're on the right path when making decisions that will drastically affect their future.
So what role does a parent play in their teenager's future?
Without further ado, in this article, we will consider some necessary advice for parents on how to help their children make decisions about their future and the essential role they will play from point A to point Z on their road to success. There are self-confidence courses with a personal development coach available on the Superprof site.
How Involved Should Parents Be in Their Adolescent's Life: Education
Like everything in life, parents need to be balanced in the way they show attention to their teenage son or daughter. Since adolescence is such a volatile period, as a parent, being too present could be stressful for the child and showing too little concern could cause later feelings of abandonment. As time goes, especially in secondary school, parents believe that their academic assistance is no longer needed; nevertheless, it is essential to state that parents do play an absolutely vital role in the growth of their adolescent as a successful student.
Why Do Parents Stop Helping?
In primary school, mothers and fathers felt more comfortable helping their children in academic success because the subject matter was much easier and correct answers could be given. Nevertheless, in the last few years of secondary school, parents shrink back since they feel incapable to help due to the complex topics analysed. It is important to state that not all parents feel adequate enough to support their children academically and give them what they require to succeed. Nonetheless, there is so much a parent can do without nagging! The following are some useful ways mothers or fathers can get involved in their adolescent's development:
- Talk to Their Teachers: the best way to know how your child is REALLY doing is by frequently conversing with their teachers. Creating a good rapport with their educators is a fantastic way to be passively active in the academic development of your child since they won't even know that you've talked to their educators.
- Hire a Tutor: if you get overly frustrated by the fact that you can barely remember the maths your child is studying when you're offering homework help, it's time to enlist the help of a qualified private tutor. By hiring a Superprof tutor for any academic subject that your son or daughter is struggling with it ensures success and shows that you care and what the best for your offspring.
By putting into practise the previously mentioned tips and tricks, parents show that they care yet trust their child's decisions that they are taking for their future. Before concluding this section, it is necessary to state that a parent's role in their teenager's education process is indispensable yet should be passive and not too active; you want to help your child not frustrate or pressure them. Read the following subheading to find out about how important communication is amongst parents and teens.
A Parent’s Role in Educational Guidance: Communication
"Good communication is the bridge between confusion and clarity." -Nat Turner
Where there is no communication, there is no relationship. Communication is the key to any healthy relationship whether with your significant other, parents, grandparents, coworkers, friends, and especially children. While it is true that parents need to step in at times and discipline their offspring, that does not mean that they cannot be their child's friend. With that being said, when it comes to providing guidance and needed suggestions in terms of education, parents need to establish a strong bond that greatly welcomes communication. By doing this, when the time comes to decide, children will feel comfortable seeking the parents uncritical and positive feedback. Adolescence can be difficult and teenagers need to feel free to express what they want, what they like, and what they struggle with without feeling judged by their parents. They need to establish a relationship of trust during their teen years. Parents often think that guidance means academic success by the time they’re finished at school, that some careers are too risky, and a career in the arts is a waste of time. There are no opportunities, you won’t earn a living, etc... However, it’s important to keep in mind that a parent’s professional ambitions won’t be the same as their child’s. Don’t become a stereotype. Not every student needs to become a doctor, lawyer, or engineer. Listen to what your child wants to do and what they’re worried about. Make sure that they feel comfortable opening up to you, which they mightn't be keen on doing during puberty. They're also developing outside of the family and they may be very different to you. To understand who they are, you need to listen to them carefully. You’ll learn important information about what your child likes, what they good at, and what they believe. Work with your child’s strengths. Such as? Perhaps your son or daughter might excel in achieving good test results, being a confident speaker, working alongside others and being sociable, possessing the skills to become a powerful leader, etc. Therefore, parents, don't be Negative Nancy's or Debbie Downer's and only focus on improving their weaknesses; instead, let their strengths guide them to the triumph and academic victory. Also, it is important to mention that you don't want to be overly authoritative with a defiant teen. Why? Being too strict could cause them to act out and make a few of the following bad decisions:
- Poor career choice,
- Alcohol abuse and bouts of underage drinking,
- Frequent drug consumption,
- Increased sexual activity that may result in unwanted pregnancies and STI's,
- Resentment towards the parents and entire family unit,
- Complete disregard of all types of education.
While the previously mentioned decisions/consequences may sound extreme and too intense, they have most definitely occurred and have been the result of academic failure at a rather young age. Nevertheless, we strongly advise and believe that parents can't be uninvolved either. It is inevitable that at times teenagers need to be disciplined and various family rules need to be set. However, the most important thing is to first communicate and be open about any problems that may unexpectedly arise.
You'd be surprised at what good communication can do for family dynamics.
Communication also extends to creating a quality rapport with your child's teachers so you that you know with which subjects they’re struggling. When parents consult teachers, they provide valuable information that can help you understand what your child may need help with outside of school. Find out more about how you can help your child with career choices.
Supporting Your Child’s Choices
"The greatest joy comes from giving and serving, so replace your habit of focusing exclusively on yourself and what's in it for you. When you make the shift to supporting others in your life, without expecting anything in return, you'll think less about what you want and find comfort and joy in the act of giving and serving." -Wayne Dyer
Let's be honest, parents are their children's biggest fans; there is no one more involved and interested in their success than Mum and Dad. However, as a parent, you’ll probably expect a lot from your children. Success is important and failure is simply not an option. Nevertheless, an obsession with success from parents may result in the fact that Mum and Dad do not recognise how hard their children are working every day and the blame game gets played as to why they are not getting perfect grades on absolutely all their tests and assignments. However, positive reinforcement can do wonders for an adolescent's motivation and self-confidence. The following are some of the indisputable benefits of supporting your children's choices:
- Improved sense of worth,
- Contributing to making future responsible choices,
- Feelings of independence,
- Increased mental health,
- Good decisions made for the future.
However, it's important to state that parents should not overpraise their children and cheer them on for everything they do; they're human and will make mistakes too! Parents, remember to focus on good exam results, positive feedback from their teachers, extra-curricular achievements, etc. It is obvious that a confident teenager will feel better and be more comfortable when it comes to making choices. Everyone needs recognition for their hard work and teenagers even more so since they are generally insecure and they’re still developing their personality. By being a strong yet balanced supporter, your children will grow as students, be more confident, and feel more capable of choosing what they want to do. When helping your children with their futures, make sure you avoid these mistakes.
Educational Guidance for Parents: Encouragement
As a student, do you sometimes feel discouraged and overwhelmed by the overabundance of academic options available? Parents, does the fact that your child doesn't know what he/she wants to do in the future worry you? If so, as a child or a parent, you're not alone! It can be quite a challenge for parents and their teenage children to choose what they want to do in life. It’s extremely worrying for success-driven parents when they hear they teenager utter the words, “I don’t know what to do after school” or, even worse, “I don’t know what to do!”. Therefore, parents need to encourage their children to succeed from a very young age and help them to decide if they wish to study A-Levels, a further education programme at Uni, or do some vocational training. Both parties, the parents and the teenager, need to take responsibility and do the following:
- Teenagers: all adolescents need to show that they’re interested in their future. Since they are the masters of their destiny, all teenagers need to conduct effective research to choose a career that will exploit their strengths and make them happy.
- Parents: teenagers greatly appreciate it when their parents are patient, trusting and show that they’re present in their children's future. Thinking about their future can take time and adults need to be there to reassure the teenager and let them know that everything will work out and get better with time.
Parents need to advise their offspring that their decisions aren’t forever; you don’t have to spend your entire life in the same business! Changing jobs, career paths, and even changing businesses is definitely not weak or looked down upon since it is a major part of life. Choosing what they want to do is important but it’s not a permanent decision. Changing and accepting new opportunities when they come up during their professional life is just a normal part of the business world. Though, we understand that the parent-child relationship is one of the hardest to maintain during the teenage years; there are moments of extreme rebellion, lack of obedience, and screaming fits. Sometimes parents are without answers and do not know what to do. Therefore, it is essential to remember that the teenage brain thinks differently and that we were all there once. No one said having children, especially teenagers, was easy yet raising them to make wise decisions is extremely possible; encouragement is necessary and key! Find out more about the cost of educational guidance.
Guidance: Helping Your Child Make Good Choices
While choosing what and where to study is essentially your child’s choice, they might need help developing and understanding their ideas. What does that mean? They'll need the guidance and assistance of Mum and Dad! Parents help their children to remember that there are many options and provide necessary suggestions for all types of education programmes. The following are some practical ways in which parents can set up their children for success:
- Research distinct careers with your children,
- Find reputable sites that can be consulted when questions arise,
- Help them write their first CV for university jobs or even after,
- Introduce them to fellow coworkers and friends who can explain their career,
- Helping them to identify their strengths and weaknesses.
It is important to state that there are many sites and services, student days, open days, and resources for helping you with covering letters, CVs, and applying to jobs. Additionally, teenagers need moral support during the stressful times of their lives. Such as? Days when they receive test results, before presentations or interviews, writing or filling out application forms, and when choosing the perfect career. The entire process of aiding your child make correct decisions for the future can take time but it can also strengthen your relationship. Talk to your teenagers about your previous experiences and answer the following questions when speaking with them:
- How did you choose your career?
- How many times did you get it wrong before making the right choice?
- What jobs have you done in your past?
- Have the jobs you've done always been related to what you've studied?
- Are you still learning?
While the subject of discussing past experiences about successes and failures at a university level might not come about organically, in family discussions, they are necessary and help to strengthen the bonds between parents and children. Therefore, if you're a teenager don’t hesitate to talk to your children about your experiences, and if you're a parent, don't reject the subject since that will cause more harm than good. Before concluding this section, it is essential to state that discussing failures is not a sign of failure or weakness at all. Children can learn from the mistakes of their parents and become better students and overall citizens.
Positive Influences: Sharing Experiences and Providing Assistance
By sharing your own experiences about successes and failures, you can positively influence your child to make better choices than you did in your youth. Nevertheless, don’t try and put your ambitions onto your child. Perhaps you want them to become a doctor, lawyer, or teacher yet remember that the final decision is theirs. It is essential to state that teenagers hate the feeling that they are being controlled; even most adults! Even in the moments when adolescents ask for advice, they do not want to feel forced to do something that doesn't appeal to them; it's kind of a paradoxical that parents have to play. For example, parents should refrain from saying phrases such as, “I want you to become a doctor or a lawyer” or “I’ll be disappointed if you become a designer or comedian”. We know, we know, it’s completely normal to worry about your child’s choices but you need to fully trust them. Peer pressure is massive when you're a teenager and an adolescent who has a great role model can go a long way. Nevertheless, it is important to mention that the majority of teenagers' role models are not their parents but rather figures who have helped them overcome specific obstacles. Though not primary role models, parents can be responsible for creating a positive family life that welcomes support and encouragement at all times. Furthermore, most parents will have gone through what their teenage child is currently going through in terms of career choices, and this can become the basis of a productive discussion. When speaking with your teenager, remember that you also had a bad temper during this stage and the last thing you really wanted was to be lectured by our parents. Also, we would like to mention that if you’re struggling to have a discussion with your adolescent about the future, a third party member could help. Such as? There are various career counsellors who could do an academic appraisal for your child, taking into account their skills, personality, passions, and hobbies to help guide them; this could be the key to help them to open up and discuss future plans. Nevertheless, remember that as parents, it is your primary goal to raise your children; therefore, do not ship your teenagers off to someone else when times get tough, use a tutor as supplemental assistance, not primary. With that being said, try hiring one of the many personal development tutors of Superprof that would be delighted to see your teenager succeed and reach soaring heights of triumph!