The new school year is in full swing (wait, didn’t we just take those “first day of school” pictures yesterday?) and chances are you’re in full-on schedule management and chauffeur mode. There’s a ton of extra-curricular activities that teens can participate in—marching band, sports, robotics, scouts, clubs, lessons, and more can fill the afternoons and evenings (and don’t forget those early morning swim team practices!) Great kids want to be involved and won’t hesitate to dive into a full schedule. But sometimes your weeks might feel like a never-ending series of drop-offs and pick-ups. It can feel like too much—not just for your teen but for the family as a whole.
We want our teens to try new things, discover or expand their talents, and spend time in positive, healthy pursuits. But we have to be diligent in making sure they’re not overloaded beyond what is really good for them. And we need to guard our own sanity while we try to coordinate packed schedules, transportation, and assignments without totally losing it.
As the mom of two active teens (one now in college) I can relate!
Before you decide to “accidentally” lose your car keys or lock your teenager in their room before you lose your mind, let’s talk about what’s happening inside theirs. You already know that at this age your teen is embarking on an exciting new life season—but what you may not know is how scared they are of losing it. In my research, I was struck by how much teens and pre-teens are exhilarated and enlivened by this profound new feeling of freedom that they’re experiencing: it rapidly becomes one of the most important and most motivating things in their life.
Why, you ask? Let’s talk.