Statistics show parents tend to think their teens have life so easy. I can see why some would; teens are often given cars, cell phones, computers, and a host of gadgets that connect these relationally driven young people to the world. Even though they may have more technology most parents just don’t understand the struggles teens face every single day. I recognize their struggles may not be as complex as what adults have to work through… but to our teen, it’s just as difficult.
Teens are bombarded with information on a continual basis. Yet having the ability to fully process all that comes their way is more than they are usually able to handle. In some ways, it is like giving a 12 year old the keys to the car when they haven’t learned the rules of the road and can’t see over the dashboard. They may think they can drive, but I doubt many parents would agree.
Teens don’t have the processing capabilities that their parents have. While they want to have more and more freedom, they simply might not be ready for it.
So what’s a parent to do? I encourage you to try and understand how you can help them!
Many of you know the struggle, the struggle with Raising an Artist. You have a child whom you’re concerned will struggle in school, they may have trouble focusing on lessons because they can’t help but stare out the window and daydream, and they’re always managing to turn every blank space in your home into an art canvas or musical instrument. I was that child, and I’m here to give you a few tips on helping yours!
1) Don’t Over-Test/Analyze Them: While every child is different, I can tell you what worked/didn’t work for me growing up. My Momma lovingly homeschooled me all 12 years of school, and what a great advantage I had there. And trust me, in as much as you may spend your time fretting and wondering what possible career paths your child can have a future in, the artsy child (if anything like me) spends just as much time wondering the same thing. Mom put me in every kind of test she could to try to help me hone in on what I am good at, and what I found out was probably more discouraging than helpful at the time. I recall one of the results I was given was a florist. A florist! I’m pretty sure most kids don’t aspire to use their creative gifts to arrange flowers. I had different hopes. My point is not to say that strength/personality test-taking is bad, it’s just to say use caution, you don’t need to put your child on a career path in grade school, nor do you want to unintentionally put them in a box. Rather, help invest in their gifting and allow them to explore their interests. For me it took years of trial and error for the puzzle pieces to start to make sense.