If you had asked me when I was in high school what I planned on doing with my life I would’ve had a very clear (and impressive) answer. Get a degree in Accounting and Finance from a top university, work in corporate finance or public accounting, get married, have kids, live in a gated community, and belong to a country club. Why was I so clear? It was exactly what I had seen and grown up in. But the problem was that version of a life story wasn’t a great match for my capabilities, aspirations, or values. Unfortunately, I had to figure out a new story more or less on my own.
As a parent of a teenager, you know how important it is to guide them toward making good choices that will set them up for a successful and fulfilling life. But what does it actually mean to live a good life?
Make no mistake, the world around them is giving them specific answers to that question. But what would you say?
But, in reality, a good life comes from defining what’s most important to you and organizing your life to pursue it.
Your kid is going to build their life reflecting the script they have in their heads about how life is supposed to be. You have a keen opportunity to help them write the script that’s best suited to them, even if that script looks different than the one you prefer.
That’s why teaching your teenager about the importance of living a life guided by their values is essential to their personal development—and you’re responsible for it. By helping them to reflect on their values, you can support them in building a foundation for a purposeful and fulfilling life. Here are some ways that you can start the conversation about what it means to live a good life with your kid:
Share Your Own Values and How They Influence Your Decisions
Help Them Identify Their Own Values
Talk About the Importance of Balance
Emphasize the Importance of Personal Growth
Make it a Continuing Conversation
By helping your teenager to reflect on their values and priorities, you can support them in building a foundation for a purposeful and fulfilling life. Whether it's generosity, truth, justice, service, compassion, wisdom, or adventure, living a life guided by your values is the key to a good life. So, start the conversation today and help your teenager discover what matters most to them.
For years we’ve been studying what a young person needs in order to transition into a healthy, thriving adulthood.
They're uncommon sense ideas, really.
Download this checklist and use it with your students (or kids).