I took this photo just a few weeks before my son graduated from high school. Something gripped me in the moment that I snapped the photo, a nostalgia about the calendar marching forward. It was the last year my kids would be at the same school, and I rushed to preserve the sweetness of them being together.
Here’s the thing: this photo represents a very rare intersection of my kids’ paths. They tended to operate in parallel. The photo shows what I want for my kids: connection. But the reality has been quite different.
Both of my kids had rocky middle and high school years, on the fringe of the crowd. Like me, they’re strong introverts, and in these formative years, they’ve both struggled to find their tribes.
I worry about them, hoping that they form bonds with people who enrich their lives, who support their innate personalities, who affirm them at their best, and who share fun and tears – the full emotional spectrum – with them.
If you’d like to access the document I’ve written to support parents, 4 Ways to Help Your Introverted Teen, click here.
The groups I’m forming right now include:
Career Exploration. When I worked in college career centers (I’ve worked at both CSU and FRCC), the most common question students asked was some variation of “What’s the right major for me?” That’s pretty difficult to answer when the only data points we have are online assessment results. I like to look beyond the typical questions around favorite classes (this often has more to do with the teacher than with the content), passion (did you know that ~80% of people freeze in the face of this question?), and skills (how can students really know this about themselves – grades tend to reflect compliance more than strength). I take a more holistic approach to career design, one that leverages the power of working through these questions in a group setting.
The groups that I host for career exploration for teens include:
- Fewer than 10 participants so that we have the opportunity for all voices to be expressed
- Four group sessions (75 minutes/each) plus one individual session for $220 for the whole series
- Structured activities that foster students’ creativity and practicality
- Possibilities that look at college as well as alternatives
- A particular welcome for introverts, which includes opportunities for quiet contemplation and contributions to discussions that give time for ideas to percolate (we’ll have one activity that’s called silent brainstorming that offers a great avenue for introverts to contribute meaningfully)
- Follow-up opportunities so that students have touch points where they can check-in as they move into their next phases
Contact me to set up a time to talk about the specifics of the group, which will be in person in Fort Collins. If you’d like to reserve a seat for your student immediately, you can grab a spot in the group that takes place on Tuesday evenings, June 6, 13, 20, and 27 from 5.30 – 6.45 pm in my office in Old Town Fort Collins.
Quiet Teens Tribe. I created this group because it’s what I want for my own introverted children, a gathering where:
- their quiet nature is affirmed
- they recognize their own strengths and know themselves well
- they have emotional safety to express what’s going on for them in school, in social situations, and in their own minds and hearts
- they learn about the different faces of quiet, including introversion, shyness, perfectionism, and social anxiety
- they acquire practical tools to open up and share with people who matter to them
- they connect with people who are just like them so that they receive the message that they’re not alone and they’re not broken – rather, they belong to a tribe of extraordinary people.
Contact me to set up a time to talk about the specifics of the group, which will be in person in Fort Collins. The next opportunity to participate in this group is in fall 2017.