Brave Writer Podcast: Prepping Your Teen for Adulthood with Myah St. John
They grow up too fast. We hear that ominous statement the moment our first precious bundle arrives in our arms, but we realize its weight when that child becomes a teen! Talk about growing pains, right?!
Today’s podcast guest of honor, Myah St. John, wrote to me asking, “I’ve always loved the one-room school house model, but I find it slipping away. We need to meet my teen’s high school requirements, and also the needs of my younger children…Can you help?!”
Listen to today’s episode to learn strategies for:
- Rekindling an enchanted education with your teen.
- Easing into your family’s evolving dynamic — without losing your mind!
- Embracing the discomfort of accommodating a teen testing limits.
- Allowing your teen to test-drive adulthood outside the home.
Tune in to hear how Myah applied my advice and whether it worked for her family.
What about preparing a child for adulthood?
High school is a “re-upping” moment, an “It All Counts Now” moment, when we have to reevaluate how our efforts support the education that will be scrutinized by college admissions or hiring managers. As homeschooling parents, that’s our challenge.
But our children are also facing new obligations and their own challenges – figuring out an academic path to college, or the path to a job – and they need to figure out who they are, at least somewhat, before they can do that.
So, during these teen years, there will also be a transition in the family dynamic as your teen is individuating. They join us when they’re little, but now we join them, gradually, as they become an adult.
This won’t be easy, your children may surprise or confuse you, but it’s part of the process of becoming an adult that we’re here to prepare them for. Furthermore, it will take imagination and creativity to help your teenager prepare for adulthood, both academically and personally.
Remember, there are four principles for what makes education feel magical: Surprise, Mystery, Risk, and Adventure.
Risk and adventure appeal the most to teens, and when you allow your kids to have more bandwidth in their intellectual curiosity, what they’re hearing at home can actually become more valuable to them.
- Be aware. Notice and make notes of when your child shows up as her own person – then celebrate that, even if it’s just an internal celebration!
- Ask your child about their ideas for adventure and then create opportunities for your child to explore them. Be willing to be uncomfortable, and embrace the discomfort of accommodating a developing mind.
- Issue invitations rather than requirements. Let your teen have a collaborator role as she’s becoming more self-reliant by giving her more chances to say yes instead of no. It has to be a choice that is given to her.
- Look for ways your teen can experience collaborative learning, where her ideas are sidling up to peers and professors, to give her a sense of what an intellectual community feels like. Some way for her to test drive her own personality & intellect outside the family, such as a co-op, classes, camps, or a part-time job outside the home.
- Allow your teen to introduce their interests to you. Going on the journey with them is far superior to trying to control them away from it. Connection and trust comes from listening to their interests.