How Do You Help Your Child Plan For Their Happiness?

I remember Mary walking into my office. She appeared calm and relaxed, while her son, Michael, was visibly stressed. Mary shared her goals for her son with many specific details: top three colleges to which he should apply, the major he should study, the type of career he should plan for, and the list of pressing items to be handled so everything else could fall into place. I understood her desire to ensure her son had all of the opportunities he deserved or wanted. I appreciated that she had researched schools and the college application process. But, I also felt concerned for Michael’s immediate future.

Throughout the conversation with his mother, I noticed him slump further and further in the chair, the web of his hand cradling his forehead as he gazed into his lap. I see this often, as parents wanting the best and imagining their children living a better life than they did, become the directors while children are merely actors. 

We often wish our kids showed more...

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The Portfolio Model: A Successor to the Current College Application Process

 
 
 
Often parents and students are overwhelmed with the anxiety that surrounds the college admission process. While we work with students to manage this process and make it stress free, my goal is always to help each student grow into who they want to become.
 
I emphasize the right fit over the school's name. I encourage students to discover their passion and not follow the well-meaning but often limited suggestions from teachers and parents, "you are good at math, become an engineer" "you are so smart, you should become a doctor" and similar comments that are solely based on skills but not desire, passion, or interest.  
 
I do not want students to miss out on the opportunity to find a career path that will fulfill them, consistently inspire them to succeed, and that they will enjoy. With recent reports showing that 62% of kids experience depression in college due to feeling unsure of their path, I think the following article is timely in so...
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How to Help Your Teen Narrow Down Their College Major

How do you get a high school student to start narrowing down what their focus is?

At KMAC, we use an assessment that's a little bit different to help students find their career or college major. Aside from a standard personality test, we have found it really helpful to make students think about the whole process in a different manner. 

We want to ask questions other than, "what do you want to be?" That's kind of overwhelming! Does your child even know all the possibilities of what they could be? Or what they want to do? "I want to be rich. I want to have money. I want to help others." Those are pretty common responses that we get from students, but there are a lot of ways to help others. There are a lot of ways to make money. 

Let's ask a different question: what do you want your life to look like?

It's a Wednesday morning. You're rolling out of bed. What time is it? Where do you live? What are you putting on? Are we putting on a suit? Are you putting on a...

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How To Help Your Child Choose The Right Career Path

One of the goals of high school is to prepare students for the “next level” of education, but the reality is that the "next level" is different for everyone. Not all careers begin with a 4-year degree. Some require a post-graduate degree (which means more than 4 years!), or maybe a 2-year degree, technical or trade school, apprenticeships, or none of the above! The question becomes, how do you decide what kind of school or training you should pursue?

You work backwards!

So many students assume that the next step for them is applying to college at a 4-year school, when they should really be thinking about what they ultimately want to do with their lives. By choosing a career end goal, a student can piece out what steps they need to take in between where they are now and where they want to be.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Your child has been asked this question since they could talk. And while their answers may have changed from the princess, dinosaur,...

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How To Start Your College Planning

Making a plan EARLY makes a difference!

When you child's senior year rolls around and they have to sit down to list out their activities and achievements, what are they going to put down? What will their grades look like? What will they write their admissions essays about? These are all questions to consider early, before the last-minute crunch time stress sets in. Knowing what information to keep track of and look for early can save heaps of stress and set your child apart from the rest. 

9th Grade College Planning Timeline

  • Get Involved. Try new things. No one is asking you to commit to something for four
    years, just try it.

    Clubs, sports, music, drama, yearbook, student council are all valuable on your college application. Don't see something that interests you? Create a club or activity! I know students that have organized a 5k fundraiser for a family that suffered a loss. Think outside the box. If you have the opportunity to take a leadership role, do it. Participation...
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Does My 17-Year-Old Really Need a Career Plan Before College?

ASK THE QUESTION: HOW WOULD YOU LIKE YOUR LIFE TO LOOK?

Your child needs to think about how they want their life to look after college. What values are important to them? What skills do they have? What’s their vision? We really encourage students to think about what their days will look like in a chosen career path.

Let’s say you want to help people and think you want to be a nurse. Are you up for night shifts or missing holidays? Are you ready to do what nurses are required to do? Is that the life you envisioned? If not, there are many other ways to help people.

EARLY EXPERIENCE & EXPOSURE SAVES MONEY

Being able to experience careers before choosing a path and going to college is the best way to know. Due to budget cuts, a lot of high schools don’t have this opportunity in their everyday high school classes. There are so many options, but without exposure, children usually know the big careers (doctor, lawyer, etc.) and the ones held by those around...

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