Viewing posts for the category mentorship
Parents are increasingly worried about the endless challenges of technology in the lives of their kids: texting, social media, inappropriate content, distraction, sleeplessness, gaming — the list goes on. The sheer volume of screen time seems to be edging out so much of what used to be fundamental to family and adolescent development: chats in the car with parents, conversations over dinner, shared activities outside. And kids are worried too. They're sleeping less, on devices more (much more), and stuck in a loop of constant digital immersion.
I've received several inquiries lately from people searching for a visualization exercise that once appeared on my site but was removed during one of the more recent updates. It's an exercise that has been adapted from Tibetan Buddhism and Bodynamics and which many people have found to be useful in dealing with situations of conflict, tension, or boundary violation. So, at popular request, here are the details:
Recently I spent a full day with students talking about the kinds of learning environments and experiences that work best for them. Our group consisted of roughly 20 university students from various disciplines and at different stages along their educational paths. With great candor and enthusiasm, the students worked together to craft their vision of a contemporary learning environment. Their results are shown below.
The essential goal of adolescent mentorship is twofold: to assist youth in completing the incomplete or fragmented nervous system imprinting from childhood, and to assist youth in expanding their range of choice of action through recognizing and broadening nervous system habits. The activities and practices listed below are designed to accomplish both of those aims. The task of the mentor is to discover which blend of activities is most required, and to participate with youth in the completion of those activities. We learn not just by thinking and talking but also by doing, by using the body as an instrument of our development and healing.
Early in their lives, from before birth to about age twelve, children pass through roughly seven stages of development. These stages have to do with themes such as belonging, trust, safety, empowerment, self-expression, and so on. Typically, some of these stages go well for the child whereas others are more difficult. If a given stage is difficult, the child may not fully learn the psychological tasks of that stage. For example, a child who experiences significant illness in the first year of life is more likely to feel anxiety about need fulfillment than another child who does not have the same experience. (This is because need fulfillment is the theme of roughly the first year, and problems during that year tend to impact that particular theme.)