THE PHASE WHEN YOUR EMERGING ADULT PULLS AWAY, GETS CLOSER, DOES THINGS FOR THE LAST TIME, AND YOU BOTH START ASKING, "WHAT'S NEXT?"
IF SIXTEEN IS "SWEET," EIGHTEEN IS "LEGAL"
Your kid is no longer a kid. Technically speaking, they are responsible for themselves. (Of course, you may still have to pick up the pieces from time to time.) You will feel them pull away as they drive to a first job, deposit a pay-check, or register to vote.
THE COUNTDOWN CLOCK IS RUNNING FAST
You will probably feel urgency in these last 52 weeks. As your young adult takes on more responsibility, they may also lean in relationally. They discover - especially late in the year - they need you a little bit more than they thought. All of a sudden, the decisions they face have very high stakes, like, "Will I date long-distance?"
EVERYONE IS WONDERING, "WHAT'S NEXT?"
In fact, it can drive you both a little crazy. Your young adult may mentally check out of high school long before they feel certain about what they want to do with their future. Even the most accomplished young adult will take a few years (and maybe some counselling) to figure this adult thing out. For now, just remember to focus on the next few months more than the next "rest-of-your-life."
Graduation is a crisis - for both of you. Sure it's exciting. It's a huge accomplishment. But something is about to change, and there's a good chance you aren't convinces they're ready. They might not be. And whether they seem to show it or not, your teen is probably just as concerned about that as you. You mobilise their potential when you help them to prepare, as best as possible, for what's coming.
THINKS LIKE AN PHILOSOPHER
You help them learn when you... ASK QUESTIONS.
WANTS TO KNOW "WHAT WILL I DO?"
You capture their heart when you ... CREATE VISION.
IS MOTIVATED BY FREEDOM
You coach their moral abilities when you ... FOCUS THEIR OPTIONS.
THIS YEAR YOU WILL 'FUEL PASSION' SO THEY WILL KEEP PURSUING AUTHENTIC FAITH AND DISCOVER A PERSONAL MISSION
Your Year-12 teen may be preparing to transition - not only out of their school and your home but also potentially out of your church. When you talk with your young adult about what's next for them, include conversations about how they will find and serve in a faith community.
SAY THINGS LIKE :
"HOW CAN I PRAY FOR YOU TODAY/THIS WEEK?"
"WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT CHURCH/YOUTH GROUP?"
"LATELY, I'M FINDING I CONNECT BEST WITH GOD WHEN I'M..."
"WHAT'S SOMETHING YOU FEEL LIKE GOD IS TEACHING YOU RIGHT NOW?"
"THERE'S NOTHING YOU WILL EVER DO THAT COULD MAKE GOD STOP LOVING YOU"
"ARE THERE WAYS YOU WOULD WANT TO SERVE IN OUR CHURCH OR COMMUNITY?"
"I DON'T KNOW"
YOUR YEAR-12 YOUNG ADULT IS CHANGING
- Wisdom teeth may begin to "come in" (17-21 years)
- Has difficulty falling asleep before 11pm (it's biological)
- Needs nine hours of sleep and one hour of exercise per day
- Girls have likely reaching adult height and body development
- Guys may continue to grow in height, and develop muscle mass, body and facial hair
- May overly romanticise or catastrophise
- Open to discussing current affairs and social issues.
- Capable of complex, multi-step problem solving
- Still struggles with long-term planning
- Increased interest in sexual expression (64% of year 12 students report being sexually active)
- Less available for family time
- Wants to feel ownership in personal decisions
- Show respects for others' opinions and able to compromise
- More at ease around adults
- Becoming more emotionally stable, but needs support and grace
- Often thrives in a particular area of interest
- Values being true to themselves
- Frequently demonstrates initiative for personal interests