If your kids are so inclined to talk to you, be prepared to be a listening ear. If not, see if you can develop yourself into a listening ear (or maybe an observant pair of eyes).
Many of our kids are worried about what happens after high school. They wonder about who they are going to be, if they will go to a good school and be successful, if they will get a good job, if anyone will love them, if they will get married and be a parent and if so will they be any good at it or be able to support a family.
Most of our kids are pretty sensitive and have been paying attention as we have talked about our own struggles to provide especially in the recent time of recession. They hear the news about our politicians and the uncertainty of our budget and health care and wonder how in the world this will all work out.
We can probably take ourselves back in time and remember our own personal fears and the fears of our generation. I can tell you that I didn’t like myself very much and for my generation, the fear was that the communists especially the USSR was becoming more powerful and that our country would end up in a war with them. You may be younger than me and have more recent memories of national concerns.
Most of our kids are not sure what they want to do or where they want to go and the world presents itself as a pretty scary place. And it seems like everyone around them is ahead of them or doing better than they are. This makes for anxiety and depression and gives our kids even more to try to overcome.
Adding into all of the above is that our society has very definite messages about what is a good career, a good school, a good job, and a good path. This can be a clash with who our kids are because they have their own unique gifts, talents, interests, maturity and development time frame to customize what they are doing or working on at any given time.
Keep this in mind as you listen to or watch your unique kid who may be trying to fit into our society’s one path fits all.