Seven Mental Toughness Strategies How Parents Can Assist Their College Grads With Employability
Are you a frustrated parent, who worries if your child will ever land a good job? Many of today’s college students lack the mental toughness and fortitude that are necessary to deal with economic turbulence. Today’s youth must learn how to be mentally tough if they are to survive a turbulent economic future. In reality, many parents have crippled their children by solving their problems for them and shielding them from making difficult decisions.
This reality can be seen in viewing ‘helicopter parents’ who micromanage their children’s affairs from infancy to adulthood. This has resulted in an increasing ‘Boomerang Generation’ of young people who move back home and must depend on their parents for financial survival. In fact, it is a no-brainer for college students to stay in college as long as possible to that it can be paid by parents.
My co-author William Bailey and I wrote our latest book, Job Strategies for the 21st Century: How to Assist Today’s College Students during Economic Turbulence. It was especially designed for frustrated parents, anxious students, bewildered professors and educators, and those who deeply care for college graduates. Through our research, we have found that there is a huge disconnect between what organizations are looking for in potential employees, and what today’s graduates are providing. This article describes ways in which today’s parents can infuse their children with mental toughness.
In this financial crisis, college grads need to be mentally tough. It is easy to see how individuals can be discouraged with the current economic recession. According to the U.S. Labor department, only 47.6% of people age 16 to 24 had jobs in August. This is the lowest percentage since the government began tracking this statistic in 1948. Yet, college grads must have the determination to overcome any crisis in life. In fact, they need to be mentally tough.
Mental toughness can be defined as the character attribute that allows an individual to stay in control while confronting adversity and navigating obstacles in life. Athletics is one area where we can easy see how trials can make someone stronger. Mental toughness provides the individual with the determination to press on. This trait can be seen scripturally in Corinthian 4:8, 9: “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.”
Generally speaking, many young people look for the easy way out of situations. Eric Thomas, a Michigan State University administrator and motivator speaker, speaks to the revelation when talking with young people. “The problem is you have never felt pain before. You’re soft. This is a soft generation. You quit on everything.”
Fortunately, mental toughness can be developed. Today’s parents can infuse mental toughness in their college students before they graduate in the following ways: (a) build a positive relationship with your children, (b) allow them to work through their own problems, (c) learn how to listen without offering any advice, (d) ask probing questions, ones that stimulate them to find creative solutions, (e) be honest and critical of their situation without being negative, and (f) encourage them to be around positive people. In most cases, it is a lot easier for parents to solve their children’s problems. Yet, it is a critical mistake over the long-term.
Today’s college students find the employment outlook full of gloom. Many experts note that a different career strategy will be needed during this economic crisis. Sadly, many young people do not know how to deal with adversity. Furthermore, numerous parents shield their children from difficult situations. That is a fatal mistake. Today’s parents can plant the seed for success in their children’s minds by assisting in the development of mental toughness. Unfortunately, this economic crisis is not going away anytime soon. If college students can become more resilient in this crisis, they will ensure themselves of a better future. Let’s pray that it is not too late.
About Dr. Daryl Green
Dr. Daryl Green provides motivation, guidance, and training for leaders. He has been noted and quoted by USA Today, Ebony Magazine, and Associated Press. For media interviews or speaking engagements, please contact Mrs. Donna Gilliard at 865-216-9209 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit Dr. Green at www.darylgreen.org.