Helping to prepare your adolescent for life after high school is one of the most important yet difficult things we need to do as parents. This period in our teens' lives is filled with mixed emotions and sometimes-painful decisions. For example, you may feel excitement as your teen prepares to graduate from high school, but at the same time, sadness as you think about your teen actually leaving home. You may be thrilled that your son is even going to college, but then worried about how you will pay the bills.
It is important to remember that your adolescent is nervous, too, as he tries to make these life-defining decisions. The best thing you can do is to listen as he discusses his hopes, dreams and fears for the future. Offer support and try not to criticize, especially if his decisions differ from what you might have chosen for him. Talk things through together in a nonjudgmental way, carefully trying to understand his side.
Make sure your teen has all the right information he needs to choose the right path for him. After graduating from high school, adolescents typically take one of three paths: go to school, get a job or take time off.
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