It is that time a year where we parents try to help our kids make sense of their school year. The reality of the homework load has hit; a plethora of extra-curricular activities entice our students; and we are all clearly cognizant of the ‘Over Scheduling Teens Epidemic’ that plagues our nation and results in dangerously high levels of ‘Adolescent Stress’. Counter to this phenomenon are teens who are not focused and spend too much free time on Facebook and Instagram – the 21st Century’s version of hanging out on the streets and getting into trouble. Finding the appropriate balance is tricky and most teens can use some guidance – I liken it to Little Red Riding Hood who finds herself in the bear’s cottage with three tantalizing bowls of porridge: one too hot, one too cold and the third bowl just right, but Little Red has to try them all before arriving at this understanding. Our goal as parents is to support our teens as they taste from the different bowls – it is not to eat from the bowls ourselves and then dictate which one is ‘just right’ for our teens!
At the start of school year, my daughter announced that she would not play volleyball or participate in debate. She had signed up for a full academic schedule with honors classes and needed the time for her studies. I listened with concern and expressed pride in her dedication, but my response was not what she was expecting. I clearly told her that I expected her to try and continue with volleyball and debate and that perhaps she consider dropping Honors Chem and High Math and making her schedule a bit lighter! She looked at me like I was an alien!
High School is a time for teens to be excited by their studies; work hard and enjoy learning; engage passionately in extra-curricular activities and experiences that we believe will make them happier and more well rounded human beings.
The High School Experience should be like an interesting menu at a great restaurant offering many choices and inviting young people to indulge in learning and experiencing.
Los Angeles boasts many wonderful restaurants with ‘fine’ menus, and these days, the most delectable and enticing menus feature ‘Truffles’ and ‘Buratta’ – two foods that are high on my family’s list of must order, must try and most satisfying. I cannot help it if I want my daughter’s educational experience to be more than just ‘fine’ rather, flavorful and captivating!!!
P.S. My daughter is busier than she has ever been, but she loves what she is doing. She has tasted from the bowl that was too cold, she tried some from the bowl that was too hot, and she has settled quite well into the bowl full of ‘Truffles’ and ‘Buratta’.