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7 Ways to Help Your Teen Child Find Their Purpose

7 ways to help your teen child find their purpose

Helping youth find their purpose is the joy of every parent. 

As early as elementary school, you’ve probably asked your kid what they’d like to be once they grow up. You’ve also likely told them what values are good and those that are not. You’ve laid the foundation. 

Now you have a teenager who either looks on track to finding their purpose or seems lost on what they want in life. The truth is teenagers experience a lot more than most people think – physically, emotionally, and mentally.

For teenagers, finding purpose by themselves may be challenging. They might not know, but they need a bit of help.

Discover how to help your teenager find their passion by checking out these seven practical tips.

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1. Introduce Them to a Mentor

As you figure out how to help your teenager find a career path, consider introducing them to a mentor. A mentor is an experienced and trustworthy advisor who can help your teen find purpose by building a relationship-centered around nurturing and developing them.

Teenagers looking to find purpose are often motivated by an inspiring figure that can provide advice and encouragement. 

Introducing your teen child to mentors is a smart move. Mentors tend to be well-connected; therefore, they can link your young adult to other networks that may set them up for success in their endeavors.

Also, mentorship can help you identify your teen’s strengths and weaknesses. With this knowledge, it is easier to develop ways of improving the child’s abilities.

Furthermore, teenagers at the peak of adolescence are likely to make rash decisions about their life if given a chance. However, through experience and knowledge, mentors can guide your teen child and help them avoid making poor choices in their life. 

Mentors do not necessarily work daily to help your child make decisions. However, they serve as a support system and someone who can provide wisdom and knowledge over time.

2. Pause and Reflect

While your child was younger, they probably liked to play around with the other kids and just have fun; at least, that’s how most young children are.

As teenagehood kicked in, they realized that playing alone wasn’t enough for them. Your teen started looking for a sense of contentment in other things and places other than toys and the playing field. But that, too, ended up being monotonous and did not give them a sense of fulfillment and purpose in life.

So, what can help your teen child find meaning and purpose? Well, that is found within themselves; only by increasing their awareness and emotional intelligence will they lead a purposeful life.

Self-reflection is crucial if your child is to achieve their purpose. In their teens, advise your children to take time and reflect on their approach to life, their challenges, and how they make decisions.

Tell them the questions they need to ask themselves, such as, “Why am I here? What makes me different from others? How do I feel about this or that? What do I love doing? 

Reflection will help your child transform their beliefs and values into those that bring them joy and happiness. That is the first step towards them realizing their purpose.

Afterward, you can educate your teen child on current matters occurring in the real world and help them relate that with whatever the purpose for their life.

3. Advise Them

How do you explain the purpose to a child? Well, you may start by advising them on various issues concerning life. 

Being young, teenagers may have the wrong perception about things without them knowing. You can’t blame them for this; the best thing you can do is to counsel them in a manner that suggests you are on their side and wish the best for them.

Advise your teen child on matters such as time management, setting boundaries, hard work, education, choosing friends, drugs and substance abuse, relationships, and business, and more to open their minds and realize what truly interests them.

Remember, your teen may meet different people who impact their behavior and overall perspective on life. How they react to such influence depends on who they are and how they have been brought up. So, it’s vital to lay a foundation beforehand. 

While trying to find purpose, feelings of anxiety, depression, and insecurities may set in among teenagers, barring them from realizing their full potential. It is up to you to let them know that those feelings aren’t unheard of and that they can come out victorious.
Don’t gloss over life’s difficulties while advising your child, instead have a positive mindset and strive to instill that in them as it will help them gain confidence in their life.

4. Make Them Feel Loved and Unique

Most parents have tried the above tips but still wonder: how do I help my child find purpose? Well, you may start by appreciating your teen.

Think about how you progressively treated your child as a toddler until they met teenagehood. Is there a vast difference?

As kids grow older, much of the love and affection tend to fade away – their successes are not celebrated as before. Most adults think that they are simply meeting expectations.

People, especially teenagers, find it hard to realize their purpose until they feel loved or just a sense of appreciation. Teens should be told how unique they are and that they can affect our world uniquely for the better.

For example, whenever your child is involved in a contest of any manner in school or outside of school, be there and show your full support. Cheer them up even if they fail.

Knowing that they are loved and unique, teenagers gain confidence and can start to imagine their life’s purpose. 

5. Enroll Them in Activities

Finding a purpose for your child’s life can be more than advising them or loving them. It is also about them getting out there, trying out new activities, and finding out how they can use their skills to make a positive difference in society.

Not all teens have apparent talent. So, how do you help children discover who they are? Encourage your child to enroll in activities such as volunteering in community organizations, hobby groups, after-school clubs, or camping.

One of these activities may give your child a sense of satisfaction and make them develop some values they would have otherwise never learned. The result of this is identity development and a sense of purpose.

They may also discover a talent or hidden ability that will eventually determine their passion and interests.

Additionally, as teens indulge in new activities and meet new people who share similar passions, they feel inspired and gain a sense of belonging. It is easier to find purpose with the support of friends. 

However, Anne Colby of Stanford University warns, “Sometimes volunteering can be deadening.” She later suggests,” It needs to be engaging. You have to feel you’re accomplishing something.”

Please help your child find a good match and encourage them to do it cheerfully.

6. Recognize the Strengths and Talents

If you’ve been asking yourself, “How can I help my child find his passion.” Well, start by taking the time to understand their strengths and talents.

What is your child good at? By the time teenagehood arrives, your son or daughter may have developed some special skills. If you are unsure of your child’s strengths, use a survey like the VIA to identify the unique strengths.

Once you get the results, you can judge whether it is wise to encourage them down that line. For a child, knowing their strengths at a young age helps them avoid being too caught up in their weaknesses, thus focusing on what matters.

Recognizing your child’s talents at a young age may motivate the teen to work on them and, in that, find their purpose.

7. Be Patient

Finding purpose is a process. You might guide your child today only to find them doing something different later. The thing is, they are still growing and need frequent reminders to stay on track.

Cultivate patience and allow teens some time to shed some teenagehood in them. You need not pressure a teen that seems stuck in life. At times, patience is what is required before a breakthrough.

Patience is like a quiet hope that everything will ultimately turn out outright. It helps one avoid tension and think clearly. Waiting without complaining helps you accept specific difficulties, thus building a solid character. It is a commitment to the future.

Rushing is a recipe for poor decisions that may prove costly in the future. It would be best if you allowed time for reflection and change.

Ensure that you always support your teen no matter the circumstances. Building trust between the two of you is a launching pad to finding purpose in life for your teen child.

Final Word

Knowing how to help your child find their purpose isn’t easy. Part of the reason is that teenagehood is one of the most confusing times in a child’s life. 

With the change in mind and body, discovering purpose during this period is no mean task. So, parents should take responsibility to help their teen children lest they risk them making regrettable decisions.

Remember to advise but also listen to your child. As much as you want them to succeed, take a cautious approach and let them feel more in control of their lives.

The task may seem daunting, but this article has broken down otherwise complex strategies into doable methods.

On a personal level, I believe it’s important to start exploring purpose at a youth age as I delayed my journey too much..

I was one of those folks who just hadn’t had a clue “what I want to be when I grow up”, and with no guidance with this, I just continued delaying my self-discovery journey on and on even when all my friends already had a decent career. That led me to lots of issues and now I understand the importance of such life-purpose education.

In this blog, I share the lessons I learned from my late self-discovery journey, including insights, tips, and recommended tools for finding your purpose. Here you can try out some of these tools to learn new, surprising things about yourself.