It used to be easy for middle class families. Choose a house in a good neighborhood with good schools, and send your child to the neighborhood school.Not anymore! Now parents have more choices.High schools are offering an increasing variety of programs from bio-medical to engineering to business and more.
With these choices comes the responsibility for parents to do their research to determine which is best for their child. An important question is: Do the vast majority of teenagers know what they want to do for the rest of their lives? The answer is No. However, there seems to be increasing pressure from society to choose a “path” as early as middle school. What are parents and teens to do?
Understand Things Will Change. Your teen will change as a person. The educational options will also change. New fields of study and new industries are constantly being created.
Exploration is Important. Middle school and high school are important formative years. Expose teens to different fields of study. Keep an open mind and be mindful of the things that teens truly enjoy doing. Equally important, determine the things that teens don’t like. Just because you’re good at something doesn’t mean that you like doing it.
Focus and make deliberate choices. Have a goal in mind. As time progresses, focus on things that teens truly enjoy and let go of things that they don’t. Know the various options and requirements along with the consequences of educational decisions.
Overall the main goal should be happiness! Both parents and teens should enjoy the process as teens begin to discover who they are and what they truly care about. Isn’t that what everyone wants?
Miriam Phillips-Gill is the founder of Pathways 4 Teens. Pathways 4 Teens provides educational services for tweens, teens, and parents. Our services give teens the tools and parents the information to help teens create a path for college success. Register for an event at http://www.pathways4teens.com