Ah, being the parent of a teenager. It’s just about as rosy as everyone told you it would be, isn’t it? Fortunately, your child has finally graduated from high school and they are over that hurdle. Unfortunately, your teen is indecisive about the future and uncertain about college. If your child needs some help making their big life decisions, there are a few things you can do to nudge him in the right direction. Included here are a few tips to help your child make a decision about their future.
Encourage Taking a Gap Year
Many parents are very unenthusiastic about gap years due to concern it will prolong their child’s indecision and lack of motivation. However, many studies have proven just the opposite. Students who enter college following a gap year are often more highly motivated and excel more than the average incoming freshman. Gap years often offer your child the exact world exposure they are needing to decide what direction their life should take.
Often, teenagers can be uncertain about college simply because of fear of the unknown. They are unsure if they want to travel so far from home, secure student loan debt and become an adult. It can be overwhelming to make so many big decisions at 17 after a lifetime of being told what to do. Emphasize the doors that will be opened to your child after attending college and the freedom they will have in their lives.
Sometimes, a student can be terrified to attend college when they don’t know what to major in. Many kids are aware of the astronomical amounts of student loan debt they will accrue, and don’t want to waste their time. Speak with your child about their future, about how they would like to spend their days and decipher possible major options. Your child doesn’t have to have a set decision, but they will feel more comfortable attending college if they have a few ideas.
Offer Community College
Some parents are far too interested in getting their child into a prestigious university to be completely aware of what their child needs. If you have a teenager who is unmotivated about attending college simply because they are not ready to move out, consider local community colleges. Getting a two-year degree while they ease into adulthood is accomplishing something important and may go a long way towards a bachelor’s degree later.
If all else fails and your child is refusing to leave the nest, give them a gentle push. Explain to your child that they cannot live rent-free in your home if they are not pursuing higher education. Emphasize the fact that they must get a job and begin paying rent to support the household. This will usually help your teen realize that they are no longer a child and they need to take adulthood a little more seriously.