“I don’t want to go to school.”
“In fact, Mom and Dad, I don’t need to go to college… I’ve got bigger plans!”
Hearing these words from our children is probably going to make many parents nauseous.
I understand how this can make parents feel weird, because it’s still considered the ‘norm’ that children after high school head off to college.
But as we recently shared on a previous podcast, many Fortune 100 companies like Apple, Google and others are not requiring a college degree any longer.
They claim Universities can’t keep up with the speed of change in technology and that they’d rather train students themselves.
The conversation is interesting and both sides in this discussion have valid points as towards why it’s important or why it isn’t.
But when it’s a discussion with your own child and your home, how will you handle this conversation?
Recently I heard an amazing podcast interview between Gary Vaynerchuk and Heather Monahan, in which they had a discussion that’s very relevant to this topic.
The discussion was approximately 30 minutes in, if you’d like to listen yourself.
How to Handle “I don’t want to go to School”
As noted above, some Fortune 100 companies don’t require a college degree like they did in the past, and kids are also starting to question it’s relevance.
Many tweens and teens are watching others on social media have great success and fame and believe they can duplicate this.
They’re seeing gamers, Instagram influencers, YouTubers and others use the power of the internet to make fortunes. For many parents, it’s hard to see this opportunity and I love this quote of Gary’s during their discussion:
— Gary Vaynerchuk (@garyvee) May 14, 2019
He points out how being a ‘Chef’ wasn’t as impressive in the past, but then with the rise of reality TV shows about being a ‘Chef’, many began to see this as a promising career.
Kids today are faced with different opportunities for the future than we were when growing up.
But here’s where Gary and Heather share something interesting that parents can use as leverage during this discussion with their children.
If your child believes they can create an amazing opportunity doing whatever they say they can tomorrow online, then why not get started today?
If your child says they’re going to be an Instagram influencer and make a living that way, then set a time frame and let them get out there and start doing it today. Gary also points out that if they feel they’re not the ‘school type’ then they better get a job and learn some work ethics.
Put them in the work force and teach them what the actual work will require.
And if they have big ideas of how they’ll achieve whatever they feel they will in the future, let them get out there and show you.
Not just ideas… but real execution!
This is practical parenting advice, no fluff. Our kids can’t say they don’t want to go to school because they can do something better, and yet meanwhile fail to execute on that career path.
I know for me, personally, working in my father’s mailroom in his advertising agency for almost 10 years as a kid taught me a ton about work ethics.
While my friends were out messing around, I worked every summer in my father’s office. When I wanted to do my own business when I was 17 one summer, my father made me prove to him before summer started that I could make a dollar (I did by the way).
Calling out our children will help strengthen their confidence and character. It will also help them take the imaginary and make it reality.
Worst case is they fail. But in reality, it’s not failure, it’s learning an amazing life lesson. The life lesson that work works and that talk doesn’t.
Conclusion: I Don’t Want to go to School Mom & Dad
So when your child says Mom and Dad, I don’t want to go to school in the future because I’m going to “xyz”…
Our response should be great, then why not get started today!
Most of our kids have an abundance of time all summer to start executing on what they say they want to do in the future (if school isn’t in the cards for them). And even if they don’t succeed at making money doing that thing, they’ll learn invaluable life lessons. Things like:
What the job will actually require
Critical thinking figuring out how to make it work
Resilience as they get back up again after being knocked down (because it’s going to happen)
And while it’s important to have a healthy balance, there’s no reason your child can’t start to take action on future career goals while still enjoying plenty of time with friends out in the sun.