On the New Parent Toolkit — Helping Your Young Adult Find Her Purpose
There’s Important Work to Be Done…
Simply read the news and it becomes obvious — there’s a tremendous amount of work to be done to create a better world. Opportunities to contribute abound. So we, as parents, can not only bring our own energies and talents to solve our problems but we can also learn ways to prepare our children so that they become more self-aware. We can create chances for deeper reflections on who they are and what they can uniquely give. Simply finding a job that pays bills is not the easy answer for young adults. They are learning who they are and who they want to become. They are working on understanding the meaning of their lives, a journey that will continue throughout their adulthood. Why not get this incredibly important conversation started with your family? You can offer your emerging adult sons and daughters some gentle, facilitative guidance by asking good questions along the way so that they can begin to – brick by brick – build a foundation of experience that will channel and fine-tune their passions into projects, efforts, and initiatives that create a better world.
I contributed to the new NBC Parent Toolkit’s Life After High School section on helping young adults find their sense of purpose and contribution. Beyond the worries of how to pay for school and life, who to befriend, and how to prepare for the workforce at this age, this discussion speaks to the very heart of preparing a person for their contributions to our global community.
How to Help My Young Adult Find Their Purpose
You’ve laid the groundwork. As young as elementary school, you’ve likely asked your child, what do you want to be when you grow up? You may have had conversations about what your family values are, or your kid picked up guiding principles over the years. Now you have a young adult, who may be on a path to finding their purpose in life, or they may feel completely lost and unsure of what to do. Finding purpose can be a lifelong endeavor—something you may still be working through yourself! In The Path to Purpose: How Young People Find Their Calling in Life, William Damon, director of the Stanford Center on Adolescence, defines purpose as “a stable and generalized intention to accomplish something that is at the same time meaningful to the self and consequential for the world beyond the self.” Based on the center’s research, Heather Malin, Director of Research, says the key time for discussing purpose is the 18 – 23 age range. Here’s how you can play a supportive role in helping your kid find their purpose at this time. Read the full article on the Parent Toolkit site.