How do you get from here ↑ to there ↓ ?
Too often, when they become adolescents, our children feel they must decide on what they want to be when they grow up. Adolescence is just too young for somebody to decide what they will do for a lifetime. Setting long-term goals at such a young age can hinder a young person's growth more than help it.
At one point or another, every parent hears their child say, “I didn’t meant to” or “I didn’t try to.” Sometimes all that is needed is a nod and a, “I know. It’s okay.” Other times something more is called for. One of my favorite responses was “You didn’t try not to.”