featured image

Sheri Wohlfert offers seven tips for parents whose teens are growing up and moving on.

Helping teens plan for life after high school is a mighty task. It’s mighty because it’s emotional for parents to think about their kids growing up and taking on the world. It’s mighty because society has given teens a pretty tilted view of what success and future look like. I’d like to offer some thoughts about this fork in the road. 


The First Step

Turn to the Father in prayer. Jeremiah 29:11 promises that God has a plan for each of us and we need to turn to Him first and seek His inspiration and guidance. As parents we should pray that our kids yield to His voice rather than the sounds of the world. It’s not a secret code to crack; the Father who perfectly created us is delighted to show us His perfect will for our life. 


A New Question

Instead of asking “What are your plans after graduation?” ask instead “What do you like to do?” or “What kind of person do you want to become?” Focus on what brings your teen joy and sparks their passion or what allows them to share their unique gifts and talents with the world. 




The Big Picture

Help your teen take a big look and have them ponder the question, “How would you like to make the world better and what gifts, talents and abilities has God created you with to help you do that?”  


Jump In

Take your time and come up with a short list of things that are the product of the first three items on this list, then jump in and try them out. Spend time talking, listening, watching, and doing the things on the short list. If your child wants to be a teacher, doing an afternoon job shadow won’t paint a clear picture; help them find a place to really immerse themselves to get a clear picture. 





College is fabulous but it isn’t the only option—in many cases it isn’t even the best option. Our kids are not second-class citizens if they make a different choice than a university education. We need to encourage our kids to let their post-high-school experience be dictated by their passions and skills. Trade school, community college, and an array of alternative job training programs and military service have produced some of the most happy, successful, productive professionals I know. 


Take Time

If your teen is searching and unsure, it makes sense to let them take time to make a decision that will affect the rest of their life. Taking a gap year to experience and inquire is a great idea. A gap year isn’t a year of TV and sleeping in—it’s a year of service, working, internship and deep prayer. Think of it as a career test drive. 




The True Work

Each of us was created to be a saint, so our career is vehicle to fortify our sainthood. It is through our work that we grow in holiness. We need to pray for this true work as much as our kids do. Being open is key; open to a vocation, to a career path, or to an educational path, and mostly open to the fact that God may be calling our kids to do something we never even imagined. 


Click to tweet:
Each of us was created to be a saint, so our career is vehicle to fortify our sainthood. #CatholicMom


Whatever path and work our children choose, we should remind them to choose something that will help lead them to heaven and allow them to bring glory to God. 



Copyright 2023 Sheri Wohlfert
Images: Canva