By Godfrey Madanhire

Whether they’re graduating from university or high school, in a few months millions of students will start applying for their first jobs. While their studies may have prepared them for the workplace, they may not be ready for the fierce competition of the job market and they are likely to face many “no’s” from prospective employers before they get their first “yes”. Life coach Godfrey Madanhire, who specialises in helping young people take charge of their life paths, has advice for parents who want to give their young adult children emotional support during this potentially difficult time.

  1. Set a great example

The best way to teach your children something, no matter their age, is by example. Like teenagers, young adults aren’t very receptive to advice from their parents. They want to find things out for themselves and be as independent as possible. Luckily, it’s never too late to start setting a good example. Young adults are still developing emotionally and in the process of finding out who they are and where they fit in the world. Show them how to cope with the challenges they’re facing by coping well with similar challenges in your own life.

  1. Let them know why they’re wonderful

It’s every parent’s job to let their child know that they’re unique and gifted human beings. Sometimes, rather than simply telling your son or daughter that they’re wonderful (which you should still do all the time), point out something specific about them that makes them special. And when they’re on the hunt for work, focus on assets that are useful in the job market. “You’re very creative,” or “You’re a brilliant problem-solver,” are messages that your children will internalise and can carry into job interviews with confidence.

  1. Be there

Being there for your children simply means being there. They need to know that they can rely on you no matter what. “Being there” doesn’t mean being overly involved. The best way to show young adults support is to guide them when they come to you and ask for your advice but to give them the space to learn and make their own mistakes. If you’re overbearing you might alienate them and, rather than feeling you’re there to support them, they’ll feel you’re holding them back.

Godfrey Madanhire is a former Zimbabwean refugee who is now a life coach and inspirational speaker, specialising in helping people take charge of their futures and finding success no matter what the odds. 

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