A lack of life education in schools and fear-based parenting are creating a generation of sleep-workers who fail to understand the building blocks of life and what that can lead to.
“Sleep-workers refers to people with no clear aspirations not realising every life experience can benefit them enormously in the long term even though there might be no obvious short term gain,” said Life Skills Coach Michele Jones.
“It’s like school leavers in particular are in a zombie state when they are applying for work or actually in the job and just getting through the work day – they are sleep-working,” said Mrs Jones.
“Sleep-working is triggered by a lack of focus and long term goals despite parents reminding their children the world is their oyster and they can be anything they want to be,” she said.
“This reminder is overwhelming for youth today and while they can be anything they want to be they have no idea how to get there and no one is helping them figure out what steps they need to take.”
“A year 12 student recently did work experience at a local radio station and instead of making connections and learning new skills the student chose to read a book the whole week, immediately rubbing people up the wrong way in the office.”
“The student failed to see the benefits that could be gained from this work experience and the parent reacted with silence, excusing the behaviour by brushing it off as not what her daughter wants to do.”
“This would have been the perfect time for the parent to talk to the child about how learning to communicate with strangers in a work situation will help her in the future as well as other skills.”
“These conversations are vital to helping people build the framework to helping them live their best life and schools are beginning to realise this by bringing in external help to show children what that framework looks like.”
“Often parents who are trying to protect their children from harm are setting them up for failure.”
“You often hear parents refusing to let their child get a part time job while at school because they believe their studies are more important but time spent working is invaluable.”
“Working gives students a real insight into the workplace, responsibility and a better idea of what sort of jobs they like doing.”
“Some parents even stop children going to schoolies for fear something bad might happen, but they need those experiences to allow them to make the right choices and have confidence in themselves that they can do that.”
“Fear based parenting will only end in a child having low self confidence because if a child sees their own parent can’t trust them to make the right decisions then they believe they won’t be able to.”
Mrs Jones said young people can find their way by doing the following:
Social Interaction: A tribe, a community, family or somewhere they feel they belong giving them a team purpose.
Mini Vision: Break down goals into mini visions even if it is a goal for the next hour, day, week or longer but it will help them feel a sense of accomplishment when they have achieved the goal. This will see them start to set new goals and go on to achieving those.
Dreamboards: Putting pictures or words that illustrate each goal will help show them clearly what their dreams look like. Being able to see a goal makes it that much easier to achieve as they can see it.
Give Them A Voice: Often youth lack creativity and struggle to come up with an original thought as they spend most of their schooling memorising textbooks, teachers words or mimicking others’ lives through social media. It’s important to encourage them to be able to express and communicate enough to be heard and articulate in resourceful ways so people want to listen to them and their views.
For more information on helping youth find their way in life go to www.lybl.com.au
Michele Jones has a 25-year career as an international coach, trainer, facilitator, mentor and author of an Amazon bestseller Live Your Best Life. She regularly works with schools and parents to set up the framework for young people to live their best life.
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