Expanding Your Teen’s World View

I am the mother of an almost 20-yr-old daughter. It has been a joy to watch her grow up and see the worldly woman she has become. Worldly, that is, in the sense that she is ready to go out and make her mark on the world and there is nothing holding her back.

Some people are born with more adventurous spirits than others, but I think parents have a lot to do with influencing their teen’s view of the world through introducing them to a number of enriching experiences throughout their teen years.

There are a number of ways you can help your teen to get out into the world and experience it in a positive way. The more your teen travels and sees the world, experiencing new people and places, the more likely he or she will continue to do so as an adult and look at the world in a different way. Teens who do not have these experiences are more likely to have a limited view of the world as adults.

My daughter’s teen experiences were for the most part not intentional on my part. She was blessed with a number of opportunities that helped mold her into the young woman she is today. I am thankful to be able to use her experiences as a model for my younger children, and help them to also grow into the well rounded person my daughter is today.

My daughter started venturing out into the world when she was 11 years old. A great way to introduce kids to the world outside of their “comfort zone” of family and friends is to get them to volunteer for non-profit organizations an find many places to volunteer through a church, or through a local association that organizes community volunteers to help at a senior citizen expert home care at  https://www.experthomecare.com/custodial-care/. My daughter started out by volunteering at the local humane society, and then that summer volunteered as a helper at a daycamp for developmentally disabled kids.

That experience led to four years of summer involvement with that organization. It totally changed how she looked at and interacted with other people, especially disabled people. I think the keys to getting your kids to volunteer are to 1) start them young, 2) let them help decide where to volunteer, and 3) volunteer as a family or at least with one parent/child.

The volunteer work my daughter did led to her winning a week-long trip to Disney World (with 2,000 other kids from around the world) when she was 12 years old. We would never have been able to afford to take her, but her volunteer work got her there. She will never forget that experience.

Another way your teen can broaden his or her view of the world is through travel. As you can see, travel doesn’t have to be expensive if you find creative ways to get you there. One of the ways my daughter has been able to travel is through missions work.

Many churches and other non-profit organizations offer opportunities to travel and see the world, while also helping other people. While in high school my daughter spent time in a homeless shelter in Montana, doing repair work at schools in Idaho, working on an Indian reservation in Washington, and the summer before her senior year she spent several weeks in Honduras. Other teens from our church have spent time in Africa, El Salvador, and Mexico.

Many high schools also offer opportunities to travel, in their music and foreign language programs. There are also ambassador programs that send high school students overseas for several weeks during the summer. All of these trips can be paid for with fund raising so that the parents don’t have to foot the entire bill

She also has a very caring heart, her grandparents from his fathers side both are in home cares, great thing but for us as family we don’t get to see them as much as we can, so she went for a couple of months religiously to her house,being mad or  not. This is really a big step for her as she never took care of anything or anything and now she is asking herself and to others ” are your local caregivers for elders prepared “, she is now worried and wants more for her grandparents, she has grown so much with this home care experience.

I cannot emphasize enough how much these experiences have affected my daughter and enriched her life. They are a part of her, and it is very natural for her to now go out and look for these experiences on her own. She is currently at college preparing to work in some type of non-profit organization when she graduates. She is excited to make a difference in the world.

It is tempting to leave teens to their own devices and create their own experiences. Don’t be fooled into believing that you can’t still influence their lives. It may take a little prodding, but once you find something they are interested in, the rest will happen naturally and they will thank you for it later.

Written by Rachel Paxton.

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