Don’t Take Your Hand Off The Wheel!

Parents, take note!

As my kids continue to grow and mature, I can't help but think of my own experiences as a young person. It is great to see them take on responsibilities and navigate life independently; this is a natural occurrence in life. I have two children in post-secondary and one in high school. Gradually releasing responsibility to our children is a gift from their parents.

Over the last 20 years, we have seen generational research on the differences between a 16-year-old today versus 20 years ago. For example, physiologists report delayed adult maturity in the current generation. This means our kids typically don't experience transitional experiences to adulthood until later in life. Some high school students have personalities that lend toward organizational thinking, but most students need a gradual release of responsibility in navigating life.

Our online students have a significant amount of flexibility. Because of the flexibility, some can move through their education quickly. However, we find students struggle with motivation at this time of year; this is where you come in. Regular discussion about how you can help them be accountable is part of the gradual release. Think of driving. At 16 years of age, students can get their license and operate a vehicle. As parents, we don't say to our children, "Well, you are 16 now. You should know how to drive. Here are the keys, and don't forget, I expect you to be responsible." NO WAY! We would never put our children in that space. Our laws prevent that because of the seriousness of driving. But when it comes to students navigating their day-to-day life, it can be similar. "Well, you are in grade 12 now; organize your time, get a job, look after your relationships, and if you need help, let me know."

Instead, a child hears, "You are on your own; if you mess up, it's on you." As a parent, I want to ensure I am talking through what it means to start to take control of their life. I offer suggestions or get them in touch with another adult to advise them. I know I don't have all the answers! Taking your parent-hand off the wheel too fast can send a student into a tailspin. Don’t get me wrong, at some point you must let them steer their own life, but let’s do this together and gradually. This is my encouragement to keep one hand on the wheel and add your child's. It won't be long, and your hand will be off the wheel altogether.

The video below is for those parents who are finding their child is losing the motivation to continue with school.

Ep. 3: My child is losing motivation in school

Welcome New Students and Parents!

Student Survey Next Week SOS-Q

For parents who have signed the authorization forms, students will receive a survey measuring student motivation at school. The survey is optional.

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