Kids have changed. If you are a grandparent today, you grew up in a generation in which roles were evolving and which was warned not to trust anyone over 30. If you are a parent today, you grew up in a generation of parents and schools that provided a significant amount of guidance for a more predictable world.
Today's kid faces a tougher world than his parents or grandparents could ever imagine. How and where people work, what they work at, their volume of work and what they need to know is different. This generation of students has arrived at k-12 education (particularly high school) at one of the worst possible times when our schools are often over-regulated and underfunded. Programs and available personnel to support their needs are being eliminated. If any generation needed our support and encouragement, it is this one.
How are you meeting the needs of the kids in your life? Did you know that they crave conversation about their futures with you? They desperately need your attention. Your uncritical ear just listening to their concerns helps reduce their stress about major decisions they face. You don't need to know everything. It is your willingness to explore options and opportunities with them that will greatly enhance their odds of arriving at the right career choice and finding the college and major that best suits their needs.
In this economic climate, parents and grandparents cannot count on public resources to meet their children's needs. Families need to listen to the students in the family and learn what they can about what kids are thinking about and what they need. Explore their options with them and encourage them. Their futures depend on it.