Teens come with anxieties: 

“Worried about your teen’s college readiness? Still figuring out what interests them?
Wish their values, passions, and vision made up for a compelling story already?”

Here’s how we can describe the angst of parenting teens – A mountain of worry on our shoulders wondering each day if we’re raising a perfect college resume kid.

Present day society shows us that we’re raising our children to be over stressed and under confident adults. But, ask any parent, and they will tell you that the happiness of their child is their most priced possession.

In middle schools everywhere, kids are aiming for high grades even though they have no bearing on college applications – yet society, parents, teachers, counselors and children are acting like they do.

Are we raising adults who show great promise on paper with stellar GPAs yet crumble under pressure as just college freshmen? Or are we raising well rounded adults who can manage their emotions, build positive relationships and navigate social situations with ease both in career and real life?

Let’s see where the gap is in raising the perfect college and career ready high schooler.

We often misunderstand success: 

When thinking of success, we often adopt someone else’s or society’s definition of it. Our plans for ourselves are often a mystery, because we don’t unbusy ourselves enough to write our own concrete plans for personal success.

We misinterpret what colleges want: 

Colleges want a child who has personal accountability, can demonstrate time and expectation management and stand up to adversity. They want teens who have the ability to stay self motivated, empathize, collaborate.

We succumb to peer pressure: 

We hear from society – counselors, teachers and other parents that good good GPAs and AP courses are high school badges of honor. We don’t pause to check with our own child and where all this fits into our family value system.

We don’t foresee the cost: 

There is a cost for trying too hard. We are sending miserable, unhappy children into colleges who continue living exhausting and stressful lives. We have trained them in team sports for speed and agility but have left them with unchecked emotional and social issues.

We forget its never the institution:

Happiness is never found on a paper certificate or after the number of letters behind our name. All students from the IVY league DO NOT go onto do big things in life. Its not the institution; ultimately it is in our hands to change the course of our life with hardwork and an awareness of our strengths.

What is the alternative? 

Thanks to Smart phones, Google, Wikipedia, Social Media, YouTube, MOOCs – there’s a lot of information that’s being thrown at our kids. We need to equip our children with tools to process information that’s relevant and important to them. Our children in this generation have to find an identity in two places – both online and the real world.

As parents and educators, we need to design an education curriculum that aims to teach essential life skills to kids like handling emotions, critical thinking, setting goals and making good decisions.

Just like how Math, Science and Writing are taught intentionally, the value of collaboration, empathy and a problem solving attitude can be taught to our children. These life long lessons can come in the form of essential skills in classrooms, homes and communities.

Its giving them that gap where they figure out what kind of a person they want to be and how they want to their future to be. This comes from becoming self aware of their strengths, manging their time, expectations and relationships. Because if the teenage years were paving a way for anything, it is for how children are setting themselves up to be as adults.

Conclusion: 

Our goal is to help your high schooler explore their interests and get ready for the real world with a compelling story to tell. Let’s not forget, resumes don’t build themselves overnight. A resume might be a yardstick of grades, trophies, number of school admissions, accomplishments, sports etc. But a resume is so much more than that.

In a world where every child is on the honor roll, young adults who are equipped with making big decisions now will thrive both in their personal and professional lives later.

Let’s give our children tools to deal with crisis and to always think like a problem solver. Let’s show them that there are things that we can delegate, things that we can overcome and some things that are not under our control.

Technical expertise is no match for attitude. So, let’s raise teens who’re confident enough to give an elevator pitch about their strengths, interests and passions. Let’s tear down those walls of top ACT and SAT scores across all high schools. Instead, let’s build a strong future for our future adults.

 

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