The large number of unemployed adolescents is growing. Due to difficult financial time, the advancements of technology and a global economy, many jobs previously had by teens are now adult territory including babysitting, lawn care, fast food, and paper routes. Are teens being prepared for work and family life? What is our responsibility in preparing them?
I suppose this is an SOS to all nurturers even if you don’t have teens. If you have small children, pets, a yard, garage, home, business, or more work than you can accomplish then perhaps you would think about acquiring a teen intern. Teens who volunteer learn valuable skills, can use volunteer hours and recommendations for National Honor Society, Scholarship applications, and college applications. They can also use their experience and references for future jobs.
A volunternship requires on-the-job training and no paycheck. If you are a parent in need of an extra hand discuss with your neighbor or youth from your church that you can not pay them but they can use their volunteer hours for various future applications and that you will provide references and experience that will help them in their future endeavours including becoming a parent themselves.
Problem: adolescence that don’t have opportunities in child care, yard work, and other services don’t gain skills necessary to become parents, employees, and citizens. Unprepared, unskilled college students choose loans over work to finance education and are unable to get work or repay loans after college. Young adults are unprepared for the challenges of family life increasing mental distress, illness, physical and emotional abuse, and disconnection with family and society.
Solution: Offer the brilliant-wells-of-potential a volunteer internship working at your home or business, where they can learn skills, earn volunteer hours and references for their future progress.
As a nurturer how can you support your 12-20 year old?
1. Help them prepare a résumé.
2. Help them write out a script and role play how to talk to adults when seeking work experience.
3. Encourage teen to keep a volunteer log during middle school, high school, and undergraduate years. Emphasize that volunteer hours into adulthood are part of being a good citizen.
4. Encourage them to take opportunities they may not enjoy and learn from them. Dirty jobs are a great inspiration for the American Dream.
5. Encourage healthy habits: hydration, nutrition, exercise, meditation, prayer, sleep.
6. Encourage honest habits of virtue, honor, loyalty, and integrity.
7. If internships don’t turn up, hire your kid as a personal assistant (you won’t need to clone yourself).
8. Teach your kids housekeeping, cooking, laundry and other skills.
9. Don’t nag. Speak softly to correct and have a task redone.
10. Listen patiently to complaints–teens often have valid points even if they don’t deliver them in a professional manner.
May you thrive as you nurture other in their growth and learning towards being a better nurturer.