I seriously don’t think the Teens start at 13 anymore. All parents will vouch for the fact that teens start at about TEN!! Like me, many look for ways to make the experience a little more bearable for everyone.
I’ve been there too so I know it’s not easy being a teen. It’s a turbulent time in the life of a growing little person. Trying to identify yourself within a changing physical body, comparing yourself to your peers who are themselves conducting their own search, having to abide by house rules while trying to find your own values… it’s not easy to say the least. It isn’t easy for parents to watch all this happening either, especially when some of it is quite disruptive for the family unit and individual family members.
Vision Boards bring everyone back to a basic level, using our hands to create, just like when we were kids. Although teens may react to this, saying that they are not children, soon they agree to participate. Although they might not admit it, they will enjoy the exercise. The creation of Vision Boards may be primarily basic, but it will challenge each person to think at his/her age level. A child will think of objects to have, like a Christmas gift list to Santa. Older children will start thinking of things they want to achieve, do, watch, try, feel.
I definitely see a difference between the boards created by my 8 and 12 year old children. They have each learned different things from the exercise. The little one learned to organize his thoughts and categorize the images. My daughter, the tween, learned that there are more important things than material belongings. She is thinking about actual goals for school and her social life… She is at the age where these are important life lessons to pick up. The Vision Boards have facilitated this learning process.
When we finish our boards, we present them to each other. What a great way for a parent to figure out what is going on in a child’s mind… What a tremendous opportunity to open communication when this is otherwise quite difficult. How wonderful for me to be able to share my thoughts, wishes and challenges with my children, especially my tween who can better appreciate them?
These are just some ways to use the Vision Board to your advantage as a parent or guardian of a teen, tween or younger child. Learning, growing and following a healthy path of self-discovery and happiness are essential for all of us and the benefits are even greater for our children who still have so much to live and experience.