Helping teens learn how to make decisions is key to their growth and our sanity. Teens by their very nature can be impulsive. Having the tools necessary to think things out, make decisions, and problem solve are essential. Often these tools work together as part of an iterative system, “Guess, Test, Revise”.

Let’s look at career choices, for example. Most teens are asked what they want to do when they grow up. Older teens often wonder what their next steps might be. After some self-reflection with the aid of interest and strengths surveys such as O*Net, a teen might determine that they are not well suited for an office job. They might explore technician jobs.

  • Guess: Maybe I could be a technician.
  • Test: I will read job descriptions for various technicians.
  • Revise: Did any of the jobs sound good to me? Based on my answer, what are my next steps?

The teen might start the process again with a different career choice or have a job narrowed down for further iterative exploration. Some teens get discouraged when the process requires further exploration. You can help your teen by pointing out that becoming an adult involves some trial and error. Share your experiences, your mistakes, and your successes to encourage your teen to keep going. Support your teen in developing crucial tools and skills for their journey into adulthood.

In recent blog posts, I have described some of the important skills and tools such as:

Remember that as teens trip, stumble, and fall, they are growing stronger legs to walk the road of life. Your experience, support, and encouragement are invaluable. The skills they develop now will last their lifetime.

If you are interested in learning more about how to help teens transition into adulthood, check out my website at

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