Most of my time on this blog is spent helping parents get their teens and college students to careers they’ll love as quickly as possible. This makes sense—because years spent dragging feet in underemployment or treading water in undergrad can be expensive. But what if you’re parenting a late bloomer?
Here’s hope for your late bloomer.
What if you’re parenting a teen or 20-something who doesn’t yet seem motivated to take steps toward education, job training, or fulfilling career?
Today I’m discussing three specific factors that could be contributing to this.
The good news? All three are fixable.
1. Your late bloomer feels overwhelmed by the whole process of picking education and career.
Other kids are pushing frantically for Harvard and Stanford. Should she do that? What other alternatives are there? What if she makes an expensive mistake when it comes to school or job training? The many options can feel paralyzing.
Chapter 13 of my book provides clear instruction on how your family can pinpoint an exciting possible career goal for this late bloomer based on personality type, deep ongoing interests, and personal strengths.
Can’t afford the book? Ask for it at your local library. Go straight to chapter 13.
I urge you to ignore the lightweight, inaccurate, computerized “career assessments” given to your child at the high school. Instead, access a highly qualified career consultant on the “Approved Consultants” tab on this website. You’ll feel immediate relief.
Recently, one son said this about doing this career assessing with Cindy Mattson of definingpointconsulting.com: “I did not expect this experience to be this useful/important, but it ended up great—very helpful, and I am very happy we did it.”
2. Your late bloomer thinks that “30 is the new 20,” and that she has a whole decade she can kill doing nothing.
Ask her to read Meg Jay’s book The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter and How to Make the Most of Them Now.
It’s a great, entertaining read—full of stories of 20-somethings just like her who made the decision to quit treading water, and instead hop into a speedboat that’s going somewhere.
I hope you’ll read The Defining Decade too. Then ask your daughter if she’d be willing to share with you her views on each chapter.
Pay her to do this if that helps.
3. Your late bloomer’s brain is still developing important executive functioning skills.
This is completely OK.
Not every brain—not every heart—develops at the same rate.
According to this fascinating Wall Street Journal article by late bloomer Rich Karlgaard, “Between the ages of 18 and 25, most people are still living in a volatile post-adolescence. In both adolescent and young adult brains, the prefrontal cortex—the processing center of our frontal lobe—is the last part to fully develop, and it is responsible for complex functions such as planning and organizing, problem solving, memory, attention, and inhibition.”
Your late bloomer may make a huge life change right around the age of 25.
To protect your own interests in the meantime—don’t miss this article on The One Sentence That’ll Keep Your Kids From Living At Home in Their 20s.
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Remember, setting career goal is only a small part of the picture when it comes to getting your kid through college or job training debt-free.
For clear, step-by-step help with the whole debt-free college process from beginning to end, it takes only 7 hours to read my book:
Get 10-minute, fast-paced video instruction on how to use this book most efficiently at bit.ly/easylaunchinstructions.
You can see more than 100 reviews of it on Amazon at:
(Tell your friends.)
You can see why financial advising professionals love LAUNCH, here.
You can see the top 9 questions parents are asking me about LAUNCH, here.
Read just one chapter of LAUNCH every 1–3 months while your child’s in middle school and high school, and you’ll know every viable strategy for debt-free college at exactly the right time to implement it.
And if your child’s already well past middle school? That’s OK; you can run to catch up. But the process of getting your kids through college debt-free goes more smoothly the earlier you start it—especially if you’re not planning to save up any money to pay for college.
Do you have specific questions for me about debt-free college and career for your kids?
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What about you? What strategies have you found for encouraging late bloomers to grow and thrive?
Comment below or LIKE Jeannie Burlowski Author on Facebook, find this post on that page, and let’s talk about it there.
Who is Jeannie Burlowski?
Jeannie is a full-time academic strategist, podcast host, and sought-after speaker for students ages 12–26 and their parents and grandparents. Her writing, speaking, and podcasting help parents set their kids up to graduate college debt-free and move directly into careers they excel at and love. Her work has been featured in publications such as The Huffington Post, USA Today, NerdWallet, and US News and World Report, and on CBS News.