Checking would your teens rate the family Thanksgiving celebration?



My boys are now young adults, but when I read a blogpost by Kari O'Driscoll about "What NOT to Say to a Teen Girl on Thanksgiving", I found myself remembering some very awkward moments around the dinner table from past years.

Her first point, which has nothing to do with conversation per se, bears repeating for the upcoming holiday break: "Don't assume that just because your niece/granddaughter/friend is a teenage girl, she is interested in watching your children for hours on end while you go drink wine with the rest of the family and get a break."  My sons were cast in this role as well.  It is rather presumptuous to assume that teens would love to babysit for free, and even if they don't mind playing with your kids for a few minutes, don't walk away assuming they are in for the duration.

O'Driscoll unpacks 8 more worthy tips in her blog, but one I can heartily endorse as the Teen/College Program Manager is this:"Please don't ask her where she wants to go to college and what she thinks her major will be (or any other questions related to that, including what she wants to be when she grows up)."

This is a very touchy subject for most teens because these decisions feel so personal and weighty.  My experience tells me that they are already very anxious about getting it wrong.  Try to put yourself in their shoes.  Would you want them to ask you at the holiday dinner table about how your career development goals were shaping up?

The good news is that students have until their second semester of their sophomore year to declare a major.  And the undecided student is in good company.  Studies show that the percentage of college students who change their minds about their major is as high as 80%.  There is plenty of time to explore!  Let's not stress them out while they are enjoying their dad's favorite recipe for stuffing.

Do your teens a favor.  Read the rest of the blog and feel free to pass it on to those relatives who may be visiting you over the winter break.


About Author

Page Cvelich

College/Teen Program Manager

Page Cvelich has brought a wealth of knowledge to the Work/Life Center from prior experience as a high school guidance counselor and parent education coordinator. Page has been responsible for setting up a high school college and career center, designing a career exploration program for teens and serving as a counselor at a backpacking camp in the Rockies. In her role as Teen/College Program Manager, Page enjoys interacting with small groups of parents and teens, as well as consulting one-on-one with parents and referring them to resources so that they are better able to provide the support and encouragement their kids need.

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