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Parenting InsideOut

How to raise kids that see their potential

We think it’s safe to say that most parents want their kids to grow up to be happy, confident adults full of potential. And yet that’s often not what happens. 85% of teens fear not being accepted for who they are. (1) Two-thirds of teens fear the future. (2) Only 60% of young adults are happy. (1) Why is that? It’s actually not that surprising when you think about it. 

When your first child was born you likely attended a course to learn how to take care of your baby’s physical needs but what about their emotional needs? You were just expected to know what you were doing, right? And the same was true of your parents raising you. And their parents raising them. And back we go. So what can you do about it now? 

Perhaps you have a teenager or young adult unsure of who they are and what they want out of life. Or maybe there are so many things they want to do in life they can't make a choice! Perhaps they’re lonely, isolating themselves and feeling like they don’t belong anywhere. Maybe they seem sad a lot or just plain uninspired. These and many other angst can shift when we’re guided to understand our personal life formula.

At the intersection of brain, behavioural and social sciences lies this simple formula:


Understand what you’re passionate about - what brings you joy. Understand what you care deeply about - what gives you a sense of purpose in life. Be intentional about pursuing things in life at the intersection of your passions and purpose and you cannot help but see your own potential.

Take Jake* for example. He moved around a lot as a kid and was constantly having to find ways to connect with people to make friends. When he put that pain point together with a passion of his - storytelling - he discovered what he wanted to do with his life; become a filmmaker connecting people through storytelling. Jake is now on a mission in his life and off to university this year excited about his future.

Now that’s just one story. If you’d like to hear more and learn more about our programs and services that guide youth to their own unique potential, join our webinar on May 22 from 1-2pm ET. Register here. While we as adults today were never taught how to find our own happiness we can change that destiny for our kids.

(1) Insights College Confidential Survey 2018 USA (2) Global Stages of Life Survey 2015 USA (3) Gallup World Happiness Report 2024 (4) Photo Credit: Jesús Rodríguez. * Name changed for privacy

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