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Pumpkin Spice & a Bit of Advice

By Rick Birt | President & CEO

Ah, crisp autumn air, leaves crunching beneath your feet, and hues of orange and red strung about. It’s that time of year again. That time of year where families gather across the nation to show thanks. To give thanks. And to eat turkey.

Gathering around the table and joining hands with family and friends is always something to celebrate, but our nation’s teens - your young family members - might be struggling to see the joy. After all, being a teenager is hard.

Teens have a lot on their plates (and I’m not just talking about that double serving of mashed potatoes and gravy!). In their short lives, they have already witnessed a global pandemic, record political divide, debate topic after debate topic, and uncertainty like none other. Beyond public influences, your teen may be struggling personally, too. Between balancing a social life, academic goals, and athletic involvement, the fear of the unknown begins to creep in.

At Thanksgiving this year, many teens will be racing against the clock of college deadlines. Some will be choosing a college, while others might be contemplating taking a year off or wondering if college is the right move for them at all. Your student may wonder what the future holds as they move away from their childhood home and high school sweetheart. This isn’t even to mention the stress of maintaining their current GPA while preparing for semester exams, ACTs, SATs, and standardized tests.

As you plan for Thanksgiving, be mindful of the young people at your table and what they may be going through. They don’t have all the answers, and you shouldn’t expect them to. The dinner table is an excellent place for conversation, but make sure the teens at your table are comfortable with the questions being asked of them. It’s okay to set clear boundaries for yourself and your teen. And always remember, “I don’t know,” is a perfectly acceptable answer for something you or your teen hasn’t quite figured out yet!

Check out the tip cards below to help make the conversations with your student a little bit easier!


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