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August 2014
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Daily Archives: August 13, 2014

Advice to parents of school leavers – top 4 tips

Posted by: Emma Trenier, Senior Psychologist, Capp.




Every Saturday I love to read The Inventory in the FT Weekend. In twenty questions (the same each week), experts in their field are asked about their lives and careers, including whether they had a mentor, whether ambition or talent matters more and whether they consider their carbon footprint. The question I love the most though is:


If your 20 year old self could see you now, what would they think?


Apart from writer P.J O’Rourke who said he wouldn’t even notice himself, almost every other interviewee has said that their younger self would be pleased to see that they had taken risks, followed their dreams and fought to succeed against the odds.


So, parents, whilst we rush around helping our young people to master the basics of workplace etiquette and summer job politics, we must not lose sight of our broader role – to help them take risks and dream big dreams.


To start with,

  1. Coach them, don’t instruct them. Build their confidence and motivation by helping them work out what they want to do and why. Help them imagine the benefits they will get if they go for it.
  2. Open their horizons. Help set up experiences, e.g., watching movies, visiting friend’s workplaces or reaching out to potential mentors, that will inspire them to believe they can achieve great things.  
  3. Focus on their strengths. Help them courageously follow a route that plays to their strengths- their areas of greatest potential (They can take a free Strengths Test on Jobmi which will give them some great insight).
  4. Build their resilience. I love the ‘Worth it Guide’ booklet (free to download) designed by young people to help others find their flow, focus on the positive and build their confidence.


And, finally, why not ask them,


If your 20 year old self could see you now, what would they say you should do?


If you’re helping your child, or advising friends who have children this A Level Results Day, two essential places to check are: The Telegraph Clearing Hub, and UCAS, who offer telephone support for school leavers and parents on 0371 468 0468, and for latest news and updates see their website 


For more information on Jobmi and strengths development please call Capp on +44(0)2476 323 363 or connect with me, Emma Trenier, on LinkedIn




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