Want to help your teenager find his passion? Leave him alone!
Zimmerman writes: "Some parents are apt to put pressure on their children about choosing a first career, thinking that it will determine the course of their lives. Yet as adults, we often reinvent ourselves more than once, moving among professions. So whatever your children choose now won't necessarily define their future."
That's absolutely true, and there really is no rush for kids to settle on a career. What about choosing a college major? Good news there, too. A 2008 study from Payscale Inc. found that history majors who pursued careers in business earned just as much money as people who majored in business. In other words, your kid can decide what career he wants to pursue once he's in college -- there's really not as much of a rush as many of the college guidebooks would like you to think.
To that end, parents should focus on helping their kids get smarter -- and in getting them in situations where they'll have a better shot at discovering what interests them. Think going to the library, working a variety of part-time jobs at diverse places, and, most importantly, turning off the Playstation and making sure your house doesn't have more than a basic cable subscription -- if that.