How To Help Your Kids Find Their Calling In Life

June 17, 2023

Quote of the Week

"Make yourself meaningful to others." --Frank Martela

How To Help Your Kids Find Their Calling In Life

Many young people today are drifting, full of self-doubt and anxiety. They need our help. So what do we do to help them cultivate a purposeful life? Purpose can come from things simple and familiar to us [...] and one’s purpose can change over time. Your purpose doesn’t have to be some monolithic myth of epic conquest. It’s an organizing, energizing, uniting principle for life that gives us meaning and motivation.

When young people have a destination, the right decisions along the journey become clearer. Without purpose, being a good kid can feel like an arbitrary laundry list of things to do and not to do. With purpose, doing the right thing is clear because it’s in service of a greater goal.

This is how to help your kids find their calling in life:
Fan the flames: You’re the follower, not the leader. The cheerleader, not the quarterback.
Present possibilities, listen and encourage.
Convey the meaning you get from your own work
Introduce them to mentors
Encourage an entrepreneurial attitude: As long as they have parental supervision, nudge them closer to a default of “Let’s test it and see what happens.“

So what’s the best place to start? Let kids know that what they do matters. Read more in this week's featured article.

Reading Corner

Title: The Path To Purpose: Helping Our Children Find Their Calling In Life
By: William Damon
Ages: Adult

"Drawing on the revelatory results of a landmark study, William Damon investigates the most pressing issue in the lives of youth today: why so many young people are "failing to launch". Damon shows that the key ingredient for the highly engaged is that they have developed a clear sense of purpose in their lives that motivates them and gives them direction. Based on in-depth interviews, he takes readers inside the minds of the disengaged and drifting kids and exposes their confusion and anxiety about what they should do with their lives. He then offers compelling portraits of the young people who are thriving and identifies the nine key factors that have made the difference for them, presenting simple but powerful methods that parents and all adults can employ in order to cultivate that energized sense of purpose in young people that will launch them on the path to a deeply satisfying and productive life." --Publishers

Be the Change

If you have younger kids, view 7 meaningful activities to help your kids find purpose and try any 2 activities this week.  If you have teens/older kids, read Time magazine's How to help teens find purpose amid the mental health crisis and try out the 3 suggested ideas over the next few weeks. Be patient with yourself and your child, and know that finding purpose is an ever-evolving practice.