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What are some good ways to encourage my preteen to pursue higher education or vocational training after high school?

I am a single mother of a 12-year-old boy who will be starting middle school next year. I am very concerned about his future and want to encourage him to pursue higher education or vocational training after high school. I am a high school graduate and I regret not pursuing further education, so I want to make sure my son has more opportunities. However, he is not very interested in school and tends to procrastinate on homework and projects. What are some good ways I can motivate and encourage him to start thinking about his future and the importance of education? I am open to all suggestions and advice.

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As a parent of a 13-year-old daughter, I faced a similar situation. My daughter was not interested in her studies and did not have any career aspirations. However, I motivated her by talking to her about her interests and what she wanted to do in life. I also encouraged her to meet professionals from different fields and attend career fairs to gain a better understanding of different career paths.

I also found that setting achievable goals and rewarding her for achieving them helped her develop a sense of responsibility and motivation. We also discussed the benefits of higher education and how it can open up new opportunities, both personal and professional.

Lastly, I believe it's important to involve children in career planning from an early age. Exposing them to different career options, discussing their interests and strengths, and encouraging them to pursue extracurricular activities that align with their goals can make a huge difference in their outlook towards education and career development.


As someone who was once a preteen, I can share my thoughts on how parents can encourage their child to pursue higher education or vocational training after high school. One of the most effective ways to motivate preteens is to expose them to different college majors and job options so they can start thinking about their interests and what they want to do after high school.

Parents can also set an example by sharing their stories of pursuing higher education or vocational training and how it helped them achieve their goals. Additionally, parents can help preteens start saving for their future by starting an education savings account, such as a 529 plan, and explaining the benefits of a college education.

Another thing parents can do is encourage preteens to develop skills through extracurricular activities or volunteering. For instance, if a preteen is interested in medicine, parents can encourage volunteering at a local hospital or clinic so they can get hands-on experience while making a difference in their community.

Finally, parents can be supportive and understanding while helping their preteen navigate the challenges of academic and career planning. By being a source of encouragement and guidance, parents can help preteens develop the confidence and determination needed to achieve their full potential.


As a high school teacher, I often see students who lack motivation and have no interest in pursuing higher education or vocational training after high school. From my experience, one of the most effective ways to encourage students to think about their future is to provide them with opportunities to learn new skills and gain practical experience.

For instance, schools can organize workshops or clubs that allow students to explore different careers, skills, and hobbies. These opportunities can expose students to new interests and help them discover their passions. Additionally, schools can also collaborate with local businesses and organizations to provide internships and hands-on experiences that allow students to connect their classroom learning to real-world situations.

Lastly, I think it's crucial to have meaningful conversations with students about the importance of higher education and career preparation. Teachers, parents, and guidance counselors should work together to help students explore their interests and help them develop an action plan towards achieving their goals. By providing students with guidance, support, and opportunities, we can inspire them to pursue their passions and achieve their full potential.


As a recent college graduate, I believe that it's just as important to help preteens develop skills outside of formal education that will be useful in the workforce. One skill that stands out is learning how to communicate and network with other people effectively. Parents can help their preteens develop these skills by taking them to social events, encouraging them to socialize, and teaching them to communicate clearly and confidently.

Another essential skill is time management. In college, I learned that balancing academics, work, and social life is a must. Parents can help preteens by teaching them time management techniques such as making a to-do list, setting goals, and breaking tasks into smaller parts.

Parents can also encourage preteens to develop a growth mindset. The ability to see failure as a learning experience and to learn from mistakes is an essential skill that translates to professional growth. Encourage preteens to challenge themselves and remind them that every mistake is an opportunity to learn and grow.

Finally, teaching preteens practical skills such as budgeting, money management and financial literacy, and personal branding will help them be more self-sufficient and financially independent. There are many online curriculums that parents can use to teach their preteens these skills, setting them up for success even before they enter the workforce.

In conclusion, in addition to education, parents can help their preteens develop soft skills that are crucial in the workforce. This will prepare them for success when they pursue higher education or vocational training.


As someone who struggled with motivation and direction in high school, I can speak from personal experience about what worked for me when it came to pursuing higher education. When I was in middle school, I didn't see the point in going to college or pursuing a career. However, my parents and teachers took an active interest in helping me discover my strengths and interests and helped guide me towards a path that suited me.

One thing that was particularly helpful was having access to a mentor or guidance counselor who I could talk to about my future. They helped me understand the impact of higher education on my future, and how it could open up doors to exciting opportunities. Moreover, they helped me break down my goals into achievable parts, so I could work towards them one step at a time.

Lastly, I think it is essential to foster a sense of curiosity and passion in children from a young age. Encouraging them to explore new things, taking them on visits to colleges, and exposing them to different cultures can help spark their curiosity and drive. By supporting their interests and celebrating their achievements, we can help them realize their full potential and instill in them a sense of pride and ownership over their future.


As a vocational training graduate, I believe that pursuing vocational training can be a great option for preteens who may not be interested in pursuing traditional higher education. Vocational training can provide practical, hands-on experience that translates directly into job skills and can lead to well-paying careers.

One way that parents can encourage preteens to pursue vocational training after high school is to expose them to different career paths and talk to them about the benefits of vocational training. Many trade schools allow interested students to tour facilities and learn about what programs are offered.

Parents can also encourage preteens to consider taking courses in high school that may be applicable to vocational training. Some high schools offer elective courses in fields like construction, welding, and automotive repair. Students can take these courses to gain some fundamental knowledge and hone their skills to pursue vocational training after high school.

Lastly, parents can research vocational training programs together with their preteens to find a program that best suits their interests and goals. Vocational training can provide great job opportunities and financial stability, and by exposing preteens to these opportunities, they can develop a greater understanding of what path they want to take after high school.


As a student who recently graduated from high school, I can attest to how important it is to have a support system that encourages higher education and career exploration. I was unsure of what career path I wanted to take, but my parents and teachers were supportive and helped me explore my interests.

One thing that was helpful to me was attending college and career fairs. I was able to talk to representatives from different colleges and trades and learn about the requirements for pursuing different vocations. These events motivated me to work harder in school so that I could prepare myself for higher education.

I also found that it was essential to seek out advice and guidance from my teachers and guidance counselors. They helped me to create a plan of action and were always available to answer my questions and concerns.

In conclusion, I believe that students need to have a supportive environment that encourages them to explore their interests and provides them with the resources to make informed decisions about their future. By providing students with these resources, we can help them develop a sense of purpose and ambition that will lead them to success.


As a college student, I look back at my high school years and realize how important it was for me to have a clear idea of what I wanted to do after graduation. I strongly believe that this clarity of purpose paved the way for my college success. Although it wasn’t always easy knowing what I wanted to do, I realized that having a counseling session with a college counselor or guidance counselor was immensely helpful in making decisions.

My guidance counselor was very knowledgeable about the different majors and careers available, and from our conversations, they helped me explore my interests and skills. They also talked to me about the importance of higher education and how college can sharpen skills and provide the expertise needed for success in the job market.

Additionally, I found it helpful to seek out internships and volunteer work that gave me a taste of what it was like to pursue a particular profession. Volunteering helped me see if I liked the field of work and if it was a good fit.

In conclusion, what helped encourage me to pursue higher education was having access to helpful resources, counseling, and internships. These helped me understand the importance of higher education and fostered a desire to get advanced degrees for a successful future.

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