By Goodnews Buekor
A child’s identity begins from the moment they are born; however, the teenage phase is a defining period. In this phase, critical decisions that will affect and shape their identities into adulthood will be made. One of such is the frequently asked question, “What will you want to be when you grow up?” Parents play a crucial role when it concerns kids’ aspirations of what they want to be. The adolescent age is where self-limiting thoughts can suffice, but the parent can help keep these beliefs in check through conversations and creating the right opportunities.
These tips can help you nurture your girl to follow through with her passion
Let your child see the world with her own eyes, don’t cage her. Take your kids out so they know things for themselves and form opinions about what they like. Educational Psychologist, Dr. Dion Terrelong, advises parents to “actively encourage and expose their children to the world’s possibilities at every stage of development.” Exposure can help create patterns, broaden their knowledge, spark their creativity and help them find something new they can be curious about and may likely pursue.
Motivate them to dream big
As kids grow up, their ideas change too. One of the best things you can do for your teen is to encourage them to dream big. Don’t shut them out when they start their unending tales about what they want to be. Please give them a broad smile and tell them you’ve got their back. According to research, Children with high aspirations show greater motivation to go on and to have more positive life outcomes, including emotional attainment and earnings in adulthood.
Spot out your teen’s unique gifts
It isn’t too difficult to highlight a child’s unique gift if you pay close attention. What does she love doing at will or in her free time? Please pay attention to what she does when the T.V is off or when her phone’s battery is dead. Spotting her gift early enough could help you fan the flames even more and eventually ignite a spark!
Be a good role model
Parents, particularly mothers, have a powerful influence on their teenage daughters. According to a survey of nearly 1,100 girls ages 13 and 18 by Keds and Girls Leadership, only 15 percent go to their friends first for advice. Younger girls are even more reliant on their mothers. What are you passionate about as a mom? Your teen should notice this in your work, relationship, and impact you have in the family and the community. You are your teenage daughter’s first inspiration. Let them see you as one.
Support your kids in choosing what interests them
Teens are humans and have a mind of their own. So, don’t impose your agenda on them. Don’t force them into accepting a passion just because you like it. It is important to remember that this is about them and not you. Therefore, you must be open-minded and accept that what they might be interested in can differ from what you want.
“I have seen from parents who allow their kids to explore their interests and find what they like or don’t like without shame or judgment, creates a good relationship between the parents and child. The child is so much clearer, respectful and loving,” says Dr. Dion Terrelong.
It is easier to gain mastery in one’s area of interest than pursue a career that is imposed on you.
Seek out mentors for your teens
Kamala Harris, the vice president of the United States of America, shared how she started. She narrated that her parents introduced her to role models when she was younger, whose work motivated her to become a prosecutor.
Host lunch at your home for your friends who are passionate about their job. Arrange meetings for your teens to shadow or intern with friends whose work resonates with what your teen loves. This can increase their curiosity even more.
Appreciate your child’s effort
Learning something new and gaining mastery takes time. So, there are times when your child might make a mistake, which may make her feel she isn’t on the right track. Don’t talk her down. Acknowledge her little effort and encourage her not to give up.
“Girls are inadvertently groomed to become perfectionists by being praised for ” good girl” behavior, so they quickly learn that making mistakes means “not good enough.” This becomes problematic because researchers have found that it’s the very process of taking risks and messing up that builds confidence.
There’s no limit to what your teen can be. Collaborating with your daughter will help her pursue her passions and create a stronger bond between you and your child.