My Child Doesn't Want to Go to College

Youth carry with them a number of doubts and insecurities. As a result, they often have a hard time making important decisions that will define their future – including whether or not to go to college. 
My Child Doesn't Want to Go to College

Last update: 07 January, 2020

When the end of high school is in sight and it’s time for students to decide what they want to do with the rest of their lives… this is a crucial event in anyone’s life. As parents, our desire is for our children to clearly envision themselves practicing a profession in the future. And, of course, we want them to get a good college education to prepare them. But, what if your child doesn’t want to go to college?

My child doesn’t want to go to college

Some children think that life is eternal and that they have an infinite amount of time to do the things their parents tell them. They think they have a long life ahead of them and that the whole world is available for them to live out their whims. High school students and graduates are at an age when fun and friends are their priority. And as a result, they may feel tempted to put their studies on the back burner.

After making a strong effort to prepare their children academically in the best way possible, this can come as a blow to parents. Many feel frustrated when they discover that their children aren’t interested in going to college… And that they don’t know what to do with the rest of their lives.

The first reaction is to get angry and decide that all of their efforts can’t go to waste. But pitting ourselves against our children will be of no help in regards to their premature decision.

The best we can do is to invite our teens into a peaceful dialogue, giving them the freedom to clarify their motives. The information they offer up will be our starting point when it comes to orienting our children.

Be careful will the messages you give your children

The constant search for comfort together with rebellion are common behaviors in most teenagers. Many develop the habit of disregarding their parents’ orders. This is especially true when parents lead them to believe that their studies are their only responsibility – a responsibility they’re reluctant to assume.

My Child Doesn't Want to Go to College

Now, as parents, many times we tend to make the mistake of showering our children with material goods and comforts. However, we do so without them having made any effort to earn them.

It’s simply a way to self-satisfy the things we ourselves lacked at their age. Or perhaps we do so to make up for some sort of guilt we feel about our parenting. Either way, we reinforce the absence of a sense of responsibility and achievement.

In some cases, we can even give our kids the idea that there’s no point in studying or working. After all, mom and dad will always be around to provide everything they need. Shoes, clothes, car, pocket money, a place to live, etc.

We’re not implying you should deny your children of these benefits. Rather, you should teach them that the only way to obtain these things is through hard work and dedication .

Help your children discover their vocation

Many children don’t take their own interests and talents in mind when choosing a college major. Rather, they look at what jobs are most in demand and what careers have the highest earnings. They fail to ask themselves if it’s actually what they want to do with their lives.

On occasion, individuals also choose their college major based on a family tradition. From a young age, they’ve heard their family members say things like “Your grandfather was a doctor, your dad is a doctor, and some day you’ll be one too.”

When students fail to consider their own vocation when choosing a future career, the chances of dropping out of school are much higher. And even if they do finish their studies, they’re likely to feel frustrated in their line of work.

From the time our children are very small, they show off their skills, abilities, and interests. And this can give us a strong indication of their professional profile. This isn’t necessarily a universal rule that applies to every case. However, the things people are passionate about when they’re little often have to do with what they decide to do in the future.

Of course, some children have numerous abilities and interests. In this case, what we can do is make a list of related professions. Then, we can go over their characteristics, field of work, implications, the universities that offer them, and more. That way, we can help our children discover the career they most identify with and that best fits their possibilities.

Your child’s professional vocation can end up getting lost or forgotten as time goes by. It’s common for teens to experience feelings of rebellion. But a good, long conversation with many options on the table will help channel those feelings into a concrete list of professional goals.

My Child Doesn't Want to Go to College


In conclusion, if your child doesn’t want to go to college, be sure to put into practice the advice you read here today. Once children discover the wide variety of occupational and professional options they have available, the panorama is sure to change.

Of course, we want to remind you that getting a college education isn’t an obligation. Rather, it’s a right and a privilege that many dream of enjoying. Without a doubt, it offers graduates lots of opportunities. Whether or not teens go to college is a personal decision that depends on their personal circumstances and preferences.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.