How often do parent’s expectations get in the way of their teenagers future? Quite frequently, perhaps like me you have experienced the following:
“ Nurse’ you want to be a Nurse, have you any idea what they earn? You’re not being a Nurse”. A young person told me how they couldn’t follow their passion to be a nurse because of what their parents had told them.
But don’t kill all the dreams stone dead, I know if they want to study Medieval Poetry they are going to have to learn ‘Do you want fries with that’ but whatever the career they want to go into, is more to do with the kids than the career.
I could line you up a 747 full of dentists that discovered it’s less about people and more about spending hours inside people’s mouths, depression is very high, divorce rates are really high, perhaps your kids want to be a rock star or a professional footballer and we know the odds may be slim but on the other hand the world has professional ballerinas and they all came from somewhere. There are very few people who play for Manchester United who dreamt about being an accountant. So yes kids do need career advice they need to connect with their passions, what they love doing,
Some of this passion is evident as early as 5,6 7 years old and putting aside that all little girls want to be ballerinas or love ponies and all little boys want to be soldiers or firemen, all of which these are the occupations they can visualise but then from 10 or 12 until it’s all in there, the inclinations the passions , the instincts are all in there. They may not recognise it themselves but they don’t have enough life experience or anchor spots to hang these things on.
I do a visualisation exercise of the future with teenagers and they can tell me where they are, what they are doing, step 1 is you need to understand that your kids know a great deal more about their future than you know and when you say they are paying no attention to their future, that’s not right they are paying an enormous amount of attention to their future.
I do an exercise with teenagers that I don’t know if you can do with your own kids but some of you can and here’s what I do, I call the exercise Teen Time-Line and I get them to visualise their future
It can give them a real insight into what is going on inside their head because I strongly believe the future is already here, they just don’t know it yet.
Absolutely, consistently and without exception they can describe to me their future in great detail but what that tells me is they are working very hard on their future. They want to know their future and they spend a great deal of time thinking about this, these are not spontaneous answers they give me, this is well thought out. And although it may not be apparent to you that they are paying attention, it may in fact be that they may not be telling you.