Recently I had an encounter with a group of 17 and 18 year old boys and we were talking about college acceptance, prom, what to do with their free time and what did they look for in a college, when suddenly I asked them: What are your goals in the short and long term, in life, for your intellect, for your spirit and for your body?
This is something they should be contemplating since they are 14 years old - yes, that young and even younger- when they are still living at home and have some parental guidance.
It is a great exercise to picture themselves in 5 years, in 15 years, in 50 years; have them picture their perfect wife/husband, what attributes would they like her/him to have, have them ask themselves how they would like to be remembered when they die. This might look a bit morbid to some, but these are defying and defining questions. It is important to plant that seed of what do they want to do with their life and have them visualize their path. They should know that it is no longer mom's or dad's decision and that it needs a lot of preparation to get where they think they may go.
5 year goal: Graduate from high school or graduate from College in 4 years.
10 year goal: Work productively, be an entrepreneur or some kind of social work goals like founding a charitable organization to help build schools in Latin America, for instance.
15 year goal: get married and have my own family and children if possible.
And so on and on...
This will give our youngsters something to aim for; aim for success, aim for happiness, aim to leave a legacy, to be somebody. Only by guiding them from their early teens in the direction they choose, we will help them focus in more depth, thinking constructively into the future instead of only looking only for immediate gratification and not thinking seriously about their future.
Hopefully, they will keep growing spiritually and intellectually. Good luck!