A Parent’s Guide to Planning for your Child’s Teenage Future

Your child was once a little bundle of joy, until one day you turned around and they were growing up faster than you could have imagined. Soon they will want to fledge their nest and go out into the wide world to find who they are. As a parent, you should be trying to plan their future in an all-around and robust manner. You should be their fountain of knowledge, to whom they come to ask about life and questions on, education and philosophical conundrums.

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Life advice in young adulthood

During this time, your child will be heading towards puberty, and it will be different for boys to girls. Boys will start to grow muscularly, and their skeletal bones become more dense and larger. They will also be dealing with hormones that release testosterone making them sexually active. For girls, it’s the same but to a lesser degree. A girl at the age of 14 will start her journey to becoming a woman; her breasts will form, and she too will become sexually active. Prepare yourself with books, online research and your own life experiences to talk to your children about sex and relationships. Children are much savvier nowadays and less afraid to experiment than previous generations. In the same manner of books and research, talk to them about the effects of abusing alcohol and drugs. By showing a real interest in the subjects they learn about at school, sitting down with them before dinner to give them support and encouragement when they do their homework, you infuse within them the passion for learning. A child is like a delicate flower bud in springtime. Gently water the flower and it will open in its own time, rush the process and you’ll overload and drown it. Persistent and measured care goes a tremendously long way.

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Teenage years planning

Not every child’s learning capacity is the same. Although they may be just as intelligent, their cognitive brain might be different. If they show signs of this, consider a technology and engineering route in the form of an internship, rather than academia. Don’t put up your nose to such avenues no matter what the norm dictates you must do; it’s their life let them live it. Your job is to give them the options and encouragement whatever they end up choosing to follow. Opposingly, if your child is academically gifted, speak to a college admissions coach early on before their senior years at high school. With the information they give you, work together with your teenager to see if this might be an attractive path to walk down. Teenagers are often grumpy creatures, so don’t force them in a direction you would like them to go. Remember how rebellious you were at that age? Exactly. Bear in mind, they’re their own person, and just because you’re their parent, doesn’t mean you own them. The closer you force yourself on them at this age, the more they push back; so don’t be possessive and let them live their life.

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