For Grades 9-12

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Teenagers are continuing to experience many changes as they think more about their life goals and how they want to contribute to the world around them.

While adults continue to play important roles, teenagers are developing greater independence. They have more mature relationships with peers, and can more deeply understand different perspectives and emotions. They’re also forming a much stronger sense of who they are and what they believe is right or wrong.

Parents and Caregivers, Your Turn!

First, think about a goal for the future that your young person has shared. How does that demonstrate their strengths and show their self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationships skills, and responsible decision-making?

Next, help your young person build on their own social and emotional strengths to identify what they care about and what they want to do about it. Ask them:


Why is this goal important to you? What strengths do you have that make you good at reaching this goal?
What do you think you’ll need to improve on?


What do you think you’ll need to do to achieve this goal?
How are you going to stay motivated and on track?

Social awareness

Who has already achieved this goal, and how were they able to do it?
What sort of support might you need to reach this goal?

Relationship skills

Who do you need to work with to achieve this goal?
How will you talk with and listen to them?


What other information do you need to reach this goal?
How will reaching this goal benefit you, your family, your community, or others?

Now, work toward a leadership plan:

Work with your high schooler to plan concrete actions to reach that goal, then help them track their progress.

See our SEL conversation guidance for other grade levels.