One of my favorite parts of working with teens is helping them discover the gifts God has given them to serve Him. Unfortunately, many parents tend to fumble a bit in this area. Either they push their child in the direction they think the child should go or they don’t discuss it at all in hopes the child will figure things out in college.
Either way is not necessarily in the best interest of your child. Forcing a child to study and work in a field God has not gifted them to pursue may mean years of frustration and heartache. Neglecting to help your children discover their gifts from God can lead to a lot of wasted money as they change majors or careers multiple times desperately searching for their place in the world.
I was excited to be given a chance to review the latest in the parachute series What Color Is Your Parachute? for Teens, Third Edition: Discover Yourself, Design Your Future, and Plan for Your Dream Job by Carol Christen. This series has been around for decades now, but really helps focus those who have no idea what to do with their lives.
Although it is not a spiritual book, I think many of the exercises can help your teens begin to realize what gifts God may have given them and how they might be able to use them in the world. There are lots of practical exercises and tips for discovering how your teens work best and what they can do during their high school and possibly college years to head towards those goals.
There are even lots of practical tips for securing internships and other jobs which may help propel your child towards a dream career. The author also covers topics like managing your social media presence and goal setting.
For Christian parents, I would suggest adding a spiritual dimension as your children read the book and work through the exercises. As their gifts and talents become more clear, how do God and their faith fit into the picture they are beginning to see? Can those gifts or that career be used to glorify God, serve others and share their faith? How? What is the best way to get the training or education they will need and continue to grow spiritually at the same time? Are there any aspects to the careers they are considering that could eventually pull them away from God? How great is that risk? What can they do to stay on track spiritually?
I have always been a fan of this series and this latest edition doesn’t disappoint. My only wish is that the paper stock was better and the dark text boxes were a little easier on the eyes. I’m finding that is more common in print books today, so you may find an e-book version is better.
Whether or not you use this book to help your teen, don’t tell your teen what to do for his or her career and don’t ignore what a major life decision it is. Rather help your teens discover how God created them and how to use those gifts and passions to support themselves and serve God at the same time. This book will be a great help in guiding you and your teens on that journey.
This book was given to me for free in exchange for my honest review.