Most adults will agree, in an effort to be successful you must be willing to address three questions about yourself: where did you come from; where do you stand today; and where are you headed? Often when asked, “Where do you want to be in five or ten years?” one can quickly answer. We identify our goals and the textbook methods to reach them. Reality soon sets in and we simply choose another goal and head in a different direction. This avoidance of the obstacles in our path keep a great percentage of young adults scurrying until maturity tells them ……. Stop!
If we look back at our childhood rearing, our parents, family, and teachers were persistent in giving us direction. Most imagined us as successful adults, leaving the home, and raising our own children. Again, success was inevitable, and the steps seemed easy to follow. You graduated from high school, went to college, had an interview, and your life was neatly put in place if you followed the directions placed before you. Not many followed in their parents footsteps or checked the directions when swayed from the expected norm.
Today’s youth are no different, however the obstacles are enormous compared to thirty years ago. Parenting has changed, education for some has become an option, and college fees leave most going to school well beyond the four-year requirement. Job qualifications range from will train to over qualified but inexperienced. Those who are now retiring are older than the past years because the cost of living can’t be met on social security alone.
The teachings and ways of our parents alone can’t be given to our children as sound advice. Success must now have a solid foundation. Clarity, confusion, and choices must be where our youth springboard to a solid start in today’s society. Each of these should be discussed as children are attending school, their social activities, and while they prepare for their future.
There is nothing worse than a communication gap, lack of communication or no understanding at all when encouraging a child to succeed. At an early age they must understand there is no barrier between them and the adults they depend on. This open communication brings clarity and a sense of comfort. Expectations of behavior, good grades, sportsmanship, respect, etc. are understood when communicated. The younger the child the better the communication; remember two way communication works best. You must be able to listen, hear, and convey a clear message. Your message as a parent, mentor or an influence must be clear because you want the best for them and expect the best from them. Embrace their failures with constructive criticism and realistic views for improvement. Understanding self-values, diligence in education, and being consistent in your support reinforces clarity and love.
As teenagers many are faced with peer pressure, coming to be their own, and separating the parental cord. Confusion between what they’ve been told by their parents and that which they are faced with daily becomes an immediate obstacle. Without a solid foundation, many stray from their home training to experiment with the temptations of the world. Once again, they must rely on the experiences presented through the stories of others, or take chances. Testing the waters, many teens drown trying to handle the world of an adult without the last part of the basics……. Choices.
Learning to accept responsibilities for one’s choices is one of the most difficult lessons in life. Being able to choose, regardless of the right and wrong of a situation, can only be done when young adults are clear. Being clear about their direction in life, they can avoid confusion and the pressures that are inevitable.
Clarity, Confusion and Choices can determine the future for our youth. Our young adults deserve a fair chance at reaching their goals and celebrating their accomplishments. We owe them the platform where they can make mistakes, learn from the errors, and move on. However, we must be willing to guide them when they fall prey to the negatives, the naysayers, and despondent people who will continue to tug at them. Where will they be in five or ten years? When you look at your children, your teen, your young adult, are they clear or facing confusion? Have you told them they have a choice?