“Adolescence is a fireball. The art of working with fire involves knowing how to make space enough for oxygen to pass through it, then stepping back to let it dance and flicker, to crackle in colorful light, to live all on its own, in its own way. Fire knows how to burn. We, the adults surrounding the precious and awesome flame, must blow on the embers from time to time, and yes, feed it plenty of fuel as it greedily consumes its supply, but in our zealous efforts to keep the fire burning, we must not blow so hard that we either snuff it out or cause it to rage out of control.”
Kyle Herman, Montessori adolescent guide
Create a Sense of Order: Adolescents need predictability in their routines and relationships. First, ask what they need. You may need to identify expectations for everyday routines and create an agreeable schedule.
Clarify Spaces: Creating visually uncluttered spaces reduces stress, increases exploration, and builds manageable expectations.
Essential Movement: Cultivate every opportunity for your adolescent to move!
- Invite your adolescent to go on a walk with you – respect their “no” and try every day.
- Find out if there’s a skill they’d like to learn and create the opportunity to support them.
Sleep: Adolescents need at least 8-10 hours of sleep a day, an essential component to their physical and cognitive growth.
Cultivate Curiosity: Support your adolescent’s need for creative projects that promote self-expression and are not driven nor mandated by an adult. Balance academic expectations by supporting new hobbies, acquiring new skills, and leisure.
Frequent Check ins: It’s important to do frequent check-ins and at this age. Be on the watch for increased irritation and anxiety. The pandemic is curbing your adolescent’s deep desire for authentic social connections. It’s time to create the conditions for reassurance and connection. Keep it simple, truthful, and clear.