Working with the next generation, empowering them to be successful, is huge to me. Especially with this age group, when they come to a conclusion on their own with guidance, it leads them toward a much better place to work on their own goals. It empowers them with the knowledge they had already in them, to figure things out and make room for mistakes. That’s what I want them to walk away with: an independent mindset and power to take those steps.
Parents can’t be 100 percent certain that their child is ready for university life, but 30 years as a psychologist have taught me what to look for. College-bound high-school upperclassmen are on the cusp of emerging adulthood, a transition to adult status that, according to research on emerging adults by the psychologist Jeffrey Jensen Arnett, typically takes eight to 10 years. The key indicator that an individual is ready to begin this transition is the emergence of a new level of personal responsibility.
There are approximately 67 million 20- to 34-year-olds in the United States, and many turn to technology to acquire necessary life skills they never learned growing up. But tutorials aren't always enough, insisted Ruth Lamberty, who started Adult Prep in July 2017, an educational consulting firm teaching independent life skills. "When you're talking about prepping for independent living or learning how to budget, it's going to be so specific to your needs and what's happening in the world at that moment, and a video isn't going to get you what you need."
The first time I set my budget I was nineteen years old. I didn’t follow my budget until I was 22. The reason being, like many of my peers I fell into the trap of believing the heavy lifting of managing my money was simply by listing all of my monthly expenses. What I didn’t know was that I needed to set up a system to track all of my money coming in and out. I didn’t understand what it meant to manage my cash flow. More importantly, I didn’t set time to regularly check my budget and ensure I wasn’t overspending.
More Americans are going to college than ever before, but students face unprecedented challenges. Over 44 million Americans collectively hold more than $1.4 trillion in student loan debt and only 54.8 percent of students graduate in six years. This means that millions of Americans are taking on thousands of dollars in debt without a diploma to show for it. “We’re number one in terms of the number of people who start college but we’re like number 20 in terms of the number of people who finish college.”
It's true that student loan debt is at an
all-time high. According to the Institute
for College Access & Success, a study showed the average debt load of students graduating in 2015 to range from $3,000 to $53,000.
But debt isn't the biggest driving factor for college students who returned to live with their parents, according to a study by researchers at Dartmouth and Montana State University. Those young people actually had lower levels of indebtedness than their compatriots who were out on their own.
While the survey found that 74 percent of respondents believe they will own a car by the time they are 30, the numbers around other key financial milestones are much lower, with 60 percent believing they will own a home, 44 percent believing they will begin saving for retirement and 43 percent believing they will have paid off student loans. The survey of 1,000 US teens ages 13-18, who are not currently enrolled in college was conducted by Wakefield Research. A summary of the full survey can be found here.
Understanding how the experiences children have starting at birth, even prenatally, affect lifelong outcomes—combined with new knowledge about the core capabilities adults need to thrive as parents and in the workplace—provides a strong foundation upon which policymakers and civic leaders can design a shared and more effective agenda. The science of child development and the core capabilities of adults point to a set of “design principles” that policymakers and practitioners in many different sectors can use to improve outcomes for children and families.
“Don’t worry” is not good parental advice. Better is: “Use worry to stay vigilant for possible problems. Use it to take Predictive Responsibility for your actions and plans by thinking ahead and asking yourself “What if?” and “Just suppose?” Then perhaps engage in in some contingency planning just in case: “If things started to go wrong, this is what I could do.” It’s a delicate balance you are trying to strike between considering unhappy possibilities, but not allowing this preparation to burden you with dread and incapacitate you with alarm. Like many other unhappy feelings, worry is a good servant, but a bad master.
As parents, we love our kids so much we want to protect them, help them, and cultivate them into perfect, happy humans. Unfortunately, this overparenting has the opposite effect, leaving our kids unready for the world and life as adults.
“We parents, we’re doing too much,” says Julie Lythcott-Haims, former dean of freshmen at Stanford University and author of “How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success.” “We have the very best of intentions, but when we over-help, we deprive them of the chance to learn these really important things...”
According to the National Institutes of Health, nearly 1 in 3 of all adolescents
ages 13 to 18 will experience an anxiety disorder. These numbers have been
rising steadily; between 2007 and 2012, anxiety disorders in children and teens went up 20%.
These stats combined with the rate of hospital admissions for suicidal teenagers also doubling over the past decade leaves us with many concerning questions.
What's going on? While we don't know for sure, there are a number of factors that could be contributing. In addition to genetics, brain chemistry, personality, and life events, take the following into consideration:
Sure, every parent wants the best for their kid. But one look around the playground and it's impossible not to notice that there are a ton of different parenting styles out there. For example, are you the mom who rushes your child to the doctor for a paper cut? Or are you the rub-some-dirt-on-it type of mom? Well, whichever it may be, there's a name for it.
From the constantly hovering helicopter parent to the totally hands off free-range approach, we broke down the five most common parenting styles being adopted by moms and dads today. New parents, take note. And seasoned ones? You may think twice about your style once you see just how your neighbor is raising her kids.