Stalled youth

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About one out every eight young New Zealanders are in a dangerous, frustrating place. Recent statistics showed 67,000 Kiwis aged 15-24 aren’t in any form of education, training or work. Some of them might have just won Lotto and are very happy just chilling for a while. Some are between jobs and they will be off on the next stage of their career or study in no time at all. But many of them are frozen. They have stopped searching and they won’t complete their CV. They hang around with others who aren’t motivated. They seem to be living in the Bangkok time zone because they get up at midday and go to bed at 2am. They seem quite content to just make a dent in the couch, playing video games and eating your food. And they are dangerously at risk of sliding into drink or drugs to ease their boredom.

What can we do to help these kids who have failed to launch? Here are three tips. One, watch for depression. Chat with your doctor if what you are seeing in your child is something you should be doing something about. Two, get them tested by a careers advisor. Online tests like the one on the Careers NZ website are okay but a professional can be incredibly motivating.

And three, don’t make it easy for them to settle for a life of premature retirement. Stay pleasant but let them know that you have to start winding back the financial support. Even if they cannot get into a job, necessity will drive them to get the Jobseeker support benefit, and the process of getting that forces them to jump them through a whole lot of hoops to get them employed. It’s a good system.

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About Author

John Cowan

Writer, speaker and broadcaster, John Cowan shares his insight and opinions about the latest in parenting and family news in New Zealand. Hear John speak on radio stations every week throughout the country and regularly on national TV.  Follow @JohnCowanNZ on Twitter

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