We insist on well-rounded kids who are adept in a number of areas: arts, athletics, volunteerism, leadership, and academic achievement. Think about the pressure this puts on children. It’s not enough that they discover their strengths and foster them; we now expect them to have strengths in every area and become masters of all of them. You know what they say about jacks of all trade, right? Now step back and look at the picture of your child’s future. How is what they see different from what we see? And how can we make the picture more clear for everyone involved? It begins with listening to our kids and really hearing what they have to say. If Brittany really wants to go to culinary school, why are you pushing her into pharmacy? Because I have news for you – I’ve met many Brittanys, and after you spend $100,000 sending them through years of college, they will eventually end up in… culinary school. So listen first. Save yourself the money and heartache and them the stress and unhappiness and allow them to make decisions about their own futures. Once they have, do everything you can to provide them with the resources they need to successfully reach their goals. But make sure that they are the ones doing the work. They must earn their dreams. You can lovingly support them, but it’s their sweat that must get them to their goal. When you give your kids ownership of their futures, you’ll be surprised at the very interesting thing that happens next. They will have LESS stress and anxiety as they gain more control over their choices and responsibilities. My point is that everyone needs to quit trying so hard. Relax and look for the vision. As Christians we would paraphrase this idea as “Let go and let God.” Pray for your children and encourage them to do the same. With prayer and surrender, God will reveal a plan and pro-
vide the path for your child to follow. Once that happens, it will be clear and easy to see - the picture will jump off the page, so to speak. So relax. Pray. Listen. Support. And just watch. Your young adult will go proudly into the future with less stress, more confidence, and ultimately, more success. Rebecca Deurlein is the author of Teenagers 101: What a top teacher wishes you knew about helping your kid succeed, and President of Teenager Success 101, a one-on-one academic coaching company dedicated to helping kids find success. She blogs and writes internationally, speaks to parents across the nation, and loves every minute of living in Sugar Land, TX. Find her on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Huffington Post, or through her own blog A Teacher’s Guide to Understanding Teenagers. All can be accessed at www.TeenagerSuccess101.com.
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Katy Christian Magazine | August - September 2019