New Year’s Resolution for Parents

Nov 30, 2021 | Uncategorized

Here’s a New Year’s Resolution suggestion for parents of teenagers and 20-Somethings:

Instead of saying, “There’s nothing wrong with not going to college. I don’t have a problem with that,” how about saying, “That’s a great idea. Let’s talk it through!” Cue the smile and excited facial expression.

Today I spoke to a Dad who said, and I quote, “John’s smart but he’s unsure about whether college is the right track for him. “There’s nothing wrong with that.” Dad told him. “Mom and I are fine with your not going to college.”

You may not have noticed the two negative words in those two responses by Dad, but I did. And trust me, your kid did also. Hint: Nothing and Not.

It’s 2021 everyone. Our economy is changing dramatically and deciding to find better alternatives than a 4 or 6-year college may just be the perfect answer for your kid. There are so many reasons to embrace any inkling a kid may be having about pursuing a different path. Here are a few to discuss at the holiday dinner table:

1. The trades are back. Apprenticeships are offering young people the hands-on training and experiences thousands of students have been craving for years but have been too afraid to pursue.
2. Salaries for electricians, plumbers, HVAC professionals, etc., often top salaries offered to college graduates, especially if the qualification and training comes along with client service, business building, and project management skills, which they often do.
3. The investment of time and money is tiny compared to a 4-year degree.
4. The long-term earning potential and promise of long-term careers is almost guaranteed with these set of skills.
5. Your kid can feel engaged and accomplished immediately, feeling connected to what they are studying rather than caught up in academic classes that feel entirely irrelevant.

Please don’t read this as a blanket statement that I am against a college education. I am for an education that works for the individual, and I’m a big fan of real-world skills as you know, skills that lead to autonomy, self-sufficiency and growth.

Happy Holidays to all
Jo Leonard
Chief Career & Education Coach