Seeking change

Seeking change

Adolescence is all about change. Just think how many transitions and  changes they have to cope with, often they are happening concurrently. Body changes, friendships changes, school changes. New subjects to study at school, different teachers to engage with, new challenges to cope with, different expectations to meet. Knowing how to make wise choices about how to engage and respond to all these different changes and transitions must be exhausting. Adolescence is also about trying new things,  having new ideas, taking risks, meeting new people, discovering the extent our power and autonomy. It is about transitioning from being a passenger in our parents’ car to getting into the front seat for ourselves.

And then consider that this generation of adolescents are coping with these changes and transitions in a global world in which the rate of social change is unprecedented. The road of adolescence has never been less signposted. The availability of knowledge, experiences and resources have never been so accessible to our children.  As parents, it is impossible to supervise our children’s activities and interactions.  Whilst this fast moving world brings new freedoms and opportunities, we are all having to make more choices than ever before if we are manage this changing world and not be overwhelmed by it. For our children faced with these new freedoms and opportunities without experience and acquired wisdom as a filter – the choices they make may not always be wise ones. The risks they take may have far reaching consequences. Our challenge is to equip our children to make wise choices as they navigate this high opportunity-high risk adolescent journey.


How can we guide our children to know when to steer towards seeking or limiting change?

We can do this by modelling how we decide whether to seek or limit change, but we can also signpost to children those times to to exert effort on seeking new opportunities, experiences, challenges, ideas and relationships, and when to exert effort on focusing on what we are already doing or already have.


Times when it is healthy and wise to focus on limiting new opportunities, experiences, challenges, ideas and relationships

  • Comsc-6mitting to friendships and working through conflict
  • Building long term friendships
  • Having fewer but more consistent relationships
  • Focusing on the current task or committing to a single idea
  • Developing an idea to a deeper level
  • Committing to an approach
  • Being cautious when presented with a new idea or approach
  • Persevering, not giving up
  • Focusing, not being distracted
  • Reading instructions carefully, not rushing
  • Listening carefully and checking they know what to do
  • Following instructions or a plan carefully, not deviating
  • Sticking to set methods and procedures in learning tasks, not cutting corners
  • Checking work conscientiously
  • Being competitive by doing something more thoroughly and precisely
  • Developing consistent routines and habits e.g. making bed, packing back the night before
  • Withdrawing from a situation which although exciting suggests danger or risk
  • Withdrawing from a situation which leaves them feeling unsettled or uneasy
  • Choosing not to take an opportunity which is not right at the moment


Times when it is healthy and wise to focus on seeking new opportunities, experiences, challenges, ideas and relationships

  • Intrsc-7oducing themselves to someone new
  • Getting to know a wider range of people
  • Introducing a new idea or suggestion
  • Having a go at a new activity or skill
  • Taking on a new responsibility
  • Thinking of an alternative approach to doing something
  • Working with new and unfamiliar materials and approaches
  • Working with several ideas or thoughts
  • Being creative
  • Stopping something that isn’t working and starting again
  • Taking a considered risk, having weighed up pros and cons
  • Taking opportunities
  • Doing something, even though the outcome is unpredictable e.g. standing for a prefect responsibility
  • Purposefully doing something to take their mind off something else
  • Relaxing and allowing your mind to wander
  • Setting aspirant goals and targets
  • Working at pace – scanning, skimming, note taking
  • Being competitive by doing something first or quicker

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