For many teenagers, high school is their entire world. Whether your teen is absorbed in sports, dying to try out for the school play, or simply focused on getting straight A’s, it’s important to remind your teen that there is life after high school and that while her high school career is certainly important, it’s not the end of the world.
There are a variety of ways you can help your child plan and prepare for the future without overwhelming or scaring your child. Some parents try to encourage their kids to go to their alma maters, but sometimes this backfires. Remember, your child isn’t you. Your child is simply your child. She may have different goals, dreams, and desires than you, and that’s okay. What’s important is that you help your child figure out what she wants to be, what she wants to do, and how she can get there.
If your child is interested in going to college, consider visiting a few local campuses so she can get a feel for what a college looks and sounds like. You could even check with the admissions office ahead of time and see if you and your child could sit in on a lecture or two. If your child is more interested in pursuing a career immediately, ask friends or relatives to share information about their careers with your child. Another option would be to check some books out of your local library with your child that cover information on different post-high school options.
Remember, though, if your child is hesitant to talk about her goals for life after high school or seems scared or nervous, don’t pressure your child to make any plans, especially if they are still in their first two years of high school. Instead, let your child know that you’re available to talk to them when they’re ready to start thinking about their options and that you will support them no matter what they decide.