One of the biggest problems with teens today is that they do not seem to have any ambition. They are happy to live at home with their parents for the rest of their lives or work dead end jobs making just enough to pay the rent on an apartment with their friends. Although the reasons why this is so can be debated we can all agree that having ambition is one of the hallmarks of a successful life. How can we help our teens to find ambition? Well, it all starts at home.
There are three different types of teens without ambition. One is the teen who just doesn’t care. No matter how hard things get on them or how bad things get they do not seem to have the strength of character to push ahead to a brighter future. Those teens get in trouble with the law, get kicked out of their homes and end up with not even their friends wanting anything to do with them because they refuse to be productive individuals. Unfortunately there is not much you can do with this type of child. They have refused to grow up no matter the hardship. Their ambition and drive will have to come from without. Structure must be enforced upon them by authorities or they will live a life that is aimless and pointless. Thankfully there are few teens who really meet this level of hopelessness.
The second type of teen without ambition is the lazy one. They like to take things easy and really know how to push the envelope. Usually these teens are smart and know how to get everything they need with no hardship. Their parents give them money and material goods, teachers let them skate by in class, and friends keep them around for their sense of humor and great personality. Unfortunately as they get older these teens find out that the real world is not that easy to get by in. As difficulties happen they withdraw and stay in that teenage phase instead of growing up. These are the teens that graduate high school and take a few classes but drop them or flunk them or just do not show up to class. They work a job here and there for a few weeks until it gets boring. With this type of teen hardship is everything. They have gotten through life without an effort so now you have to teach them that an effort is essential. Taking away the things they are comfortable with like free room and board and easy living is the first step to giving them ambition. They will only appreciate life and work when they are forced to do so. They may even get started in a job they hate and work in it for a few years because it is easy. However they will eventually wake up and find out that with a little effort and ambition they can make their lives as happy as they want to. These teens are full of excuses on why things like finding a job are too hard. Ignore their griping and let them suffer a while and they will learn how to forge ahead.
The third type of teen without ambition is the unfocused one. Often scared of the future and unsure of what they want to do with themselves this teen is probably the hardest to see because they do everything right, to a point. They go on to college and even get a degree but then after school is done they work the same dead end job they already had. Instead of looking for something better they focus on what is comfortable. A combination of fear and insecurity comes together to leave them spinning their wheels. Like the lazy teen they may come up with all kinds of excuses why they can’t find a good job. Unlike the lazy teen they are willing to work they are just scared to step out of their comfort zone. These teens require a lot of pushing to get started. Taking away their room and board won’t do anything. They will just stay at their current dead end job. Instead of force or correction you have to build these teens up and encourage them to set goals and meet them one by one. Too large of a goal can be overwhelming to them but if you help them break it down into smaller steps then they can be successful and move on in their life.
Setting goals is a great way to help any unambitious teen learn to be more proactive. Sometimes we see the big picture but can’t seem to focus on the steps to get there. Help teens to learn the skills to break down difficult tasks like finding a new career or moving out. It can be overwhelming even for adults to face big changes so the best way to help a teen learn is to take it one step at a time.
By preparing your teen to be ambitious and set high standards for their lives you can help them to be prosperous and happy adults.
Guest Contributor: Stephanie has many years of experience as a nanny. She has always loved children and has continuously been involved in childcare activities. Currently she is one of the writers for houstonnanny.com. If you want to get in touch with her, you can email her at stephanie. Houstonnanny @ gmail. com.