Helping teens know what to do after high school is an important task as a parent. It might be hard to imagine them as an adult, but the time will go quickly. It can be rewarding to help them prepare for adulthood. Just as you were vigilant about the best ways to educate a child in their early years you need to think about how to continue those lessons into their teen and young adult years as well. There are several things you can do to aid your child in their decision.

Encouraging Them to Go to College

Today’s teens need to think about college before their senior year approaches since there are a lot of deadlines, and you will need to spend time researching. You might want to help them start preparing during junior year. Have them start listing out their accomplishments and goals, even if they don’t know what they want to study. You can help them list out their strengths, any awards, and their GPA. Then they can think about what they want in a school. For example, some might like the idea of online classes and staying at home, while others might want to travel across the country for their education.

As the parent, you might want to think about the financial impact and how you can help send them to college. You can help lift the financial burden with a low-rate Private Parent loan to help cover the cost of their education.

Consider Jobs

Your teen might not want to go to college, so you can also encourage them to get a job. The money they earn can go toward tuition, or it can give them valuable experience before they decide on their desired careers. And depending on what type of position they get, they might get benefits, such as the ability to save up for retirement, healthcare insurance, or tuition reimbursement. You could also help them research a potential military career. It offers a chance to learn a trade and become more disciplined. And veterans can enjoy other benefits, even after leaving the service.

Still, there are pros and cons of this career path, and if they decide they don’t like it, it is hard for them to drop out. An internship can help your teen learn more about a certain career, and they allow students to make important professional connections.

Having a Gap Year

It can be beneficial to take a gap year between high school and college or the real world. Perhaps you will allow them to do community service, travel, or spend some time in a different country. There are lots of community service organizations to help young people find opportunities that fit their interests and skills. You can check with local religious organizations to see what types of programs they have.

Just because your child takes some time off does not mean it will be harder for them to gain entrance to a good school. Many times, it can put students at an advantage. See if different colleges have delayed admission programs. And if they don’t you can still ask them what their thoughts are on taking a gap year and then applying later on.