How to Help Your Children Find Their Purpose in Life
Purpose can give your young adult child the desire to do something that is challenging yet meaningful. It allows them to do something beyond themselves. The teen and young adult years are some of the most critical times for your child to develop and act on their sense of purpose. There are several ways you can be supportive during these formative years.
Help Them Think About Their Goals
Often, young adults have a greater degree of optimism compared to their older counterparts. This is partly because they have their entire lives ahead of them, and because they haven’t had as much experience in the real world, they haven’t had as long to get jaded. While you may encourage their sense of hope, you may also want to give them a dose of reality. It’s common for young people today to want a job they are passionate about, but earning money is even more important. Encourage them to look for a career path that combines their passions with something that can make money.
If your child enjoys helping others, you could encourage them to go to nursing school. Because of how expensive college is, your child may need some financial help to get there. It’s common for students to get a student loan, and you might find yourself needing to cosign on their loan. If you are wondering if you should cosign a student loan, you will want to know the answers to common questions before agreeing.
See What Interests Them
Young people ask plenty of questions, and they likely have a lot of ideas and insecurities right now. This is a great time for you to help them think about what they are interested in and how it can be part of a meaningful life. As your child enters their adult years, they should take the time to reflect on who they are and increase awareness about what they want in life. If they think about what they value in life, it can help them decide what they want to do. However, just asking a child what they are passionate about is unlikely to help them identify and pursue passions, let alone find meaning in their lives.
Young people don’t always know what they are passionate about, and it is often up to you to help them find it. They don’t have the necessary experience to know when something is a true passion and when it’s just a passing interest. Consider talking to your child about their values and help them think about why they like the things they do. Help them see how their interests could fit into a possible career path. Your child likely has several things they are about, whether they include art, being with friends, or helping animals. Pointing out their current interests will help them think about how those things could translate into a career.
Listen to Them
The things your child wants may be vastly different than the things you want for them. Ultimately you just want them to have a healthy and stress free lifestyle, to whatever degree that is possible. But it’s common for parents to start building expectations around their children from a young age, but this can cause you to forget about who your children are. As they become their own people, it’s important to make sure you step back.