Why It Can Be Good to Be "Hands-Off"
“Now what do I do?”
Oh.Em.Gee. When kids need step-by-step instructions for how to just be, on an ongoing basis.... Are you for real??
Make some choices! Take some risks! Adults can't be around to direct you through your day forever- step out! Ask a peer. Do some critical thinking- what are your options? What would help helpful?
Okay.. so... I'm calming down... let me give some context..
On weekends during the Camp off-season, I coordinate teenagers in a leadership program. It’s incredibly rewarding and kind of a great time for me, in truth. And they can also be a lot and push my thinking in ways I didn't expect.
Every age bracket presents its own unique fun and challenges, and teenagers are certainly no exception. This group in particular is a truly unique bunch and I really look forward to waking up EARLY on Sunday morning to spend my day with them! True story. (Starbucks runs help).
One of the reasons I love it is that the Director is also a long-time friend and is totally Team PBL (project-based learning). She’s transformed the program, since signing on with them, making it more fun and camp-like.
ALL learning should feel like camp!
Kids like camp! And when kids are having fun, they just don’t even realize/mind that they’re learning.
Anywho… so the program is on the same page and slowly transforming the culture to a more process and experience- oriented program.
Well, Shocker of the Day- This does not come easy for the teens!
I think a lot of the younger kids are probably more exposed to this type of learning, but in Beverly Hills, these teens are conditioned to be very goal oriented. They have pressure all around them to accomplish so much- I can definitely empathasize that it must be hard for them to suddenly be in an environment where the pressure is off a bit.
This job has helped my self-awareness in a lot of ways. Like coming to terms that I’m pretty hands-off as a leader. I really see myself as a facilitator and guide. I set the tone with the teens, we establish the guidelines, and then I set them free. I encourage them to try to "figure it out" on their own. I remind them where the information is when they have questions, so they can find the answers themselves.
So, I was reflecting on this school-year (as we're about 2/3 finished) and I realized, I haven't been asked the dreaded "What Do I Do Now" question in months! Months! The kids planned a big event, asked me what was needed, but really found ways to be helpful. They checked-in, they consulted their peers, and they figured it out.
Feeling pretty proud for them today. And excited to share my reflection with them on Sunday.
Be You Out There,