The best idea to motivate your child to do the right thing is to set an example. Through your own behavior, you create a model that your child looks up to. Children will do what they see. What they are exposed to in the home becomes normal to them. Set the example you want him to live by. For example, don’t drink in front of him or teach him to avoid problems. Instead, face problems head on and show him how to handle substances responsibly by imbibing only at special occasions and in reasonable amounts.
Another way to motivate them is to ask a series of questions instead of giving advice. Kids are notorious for ignoring advice and doing what they want. Barking advice at them is not ideal. A better approach is to ask, “What do you think is best?” Talk your child through the different options he or she faces. Help him weight pros and cons, and find the best option. This teaches healthy decision-making and helps him follow the best course of action because it is his own idea.
Following the advice above, you can help walk your child through this tough decision and help him avoid falling into a major that is not lucrative, or that is suffocating to him emotionally. When he gets his college acceptance letter and catalog, sit down with him and have him create a list of possible careers he might love. Start with his interests and strengths, and have him find matching careers that cater to those interests and strengths. Then have him research each career and read the reviews others post about what it is really like to work in these industries. Maybe even have him attend career fairs or shadow people on certain career paths to gain a better understanding of what career he really wants.
From there, you can have him narrow down what he really wants to do with his life. When he realizes what he likes, then have him pick a few majors that will lead him into that career. Now have him meet with an advisor to find out which major he will take.
It is best not to discourage him. But if he is picking a major that you are certain he will regret, urge him to do some more research so that he can arrive at the conclusion that this is not the correct major himself. You can’t tell him this – as kids tend to rebel when they are told what not to do. Also, this is not your decision to make for your child.