As a parent/guardian I’m sure you have already learned that youth between 13 and 18 years of age are different and especially unique, much more so than adults. By adulthood we have matured and learned from education and our important life experiences. However, our youth are beginning the struggle of this journey or may be in the middle of it. My life’s work has been in the field of leadership and organizational development. I served as an apprentice to the late Paul J. Meyer for 35 years and was president of his international division, Leadership Management International, for 13 of those years. I and many others consider Mr. Meyer as the founder and pioneer of the people development field. I experienced a firsthand view of theories and practices designed to help top leaders consistently move to higher levels of leadership and achievement. It has been my personal career-long dream to develop a program that would help the youth of tomorrow take charge of their lives, make effective choices and become excellent leaders of their own lives. That is why I wanted to communicate with you about your child’s participation in this program.
One of the big issues facing our youth of today is the multisensory input they receive on a daily basis. Digital gadgets, high technology and, of course, social media have a dramatic impact on the way your child learns. Most technology today appeals to our reactive responses. If you have ever experienced being in a crowd of people and hear the tone of a cell phone, you have seen 90% of the crowd reach for their digital device. For a young person to learn and mature they must be connected with their life experiences. I fear that too much attention and dependence on technology is slowly replacing the life experiences that come from being connected with life and having the tools necessary to direct their lives. In other words, becoming the leader of their lives, rather than simply responding to life as it happens to them, is the focus of this program. This program will help your young person develop tools to help them become the leader of their life, not the victim of their life.
Leading one’s life requires learning how to use the basic gifts of our unique self. The gift of imagination, the power of choice, confirming our self-identity, the magic of goals and planning are basic, self-directed lessons. These lessons, unfortunately, are usually not learned early enough and sometimes not at all. I am sending this letter to you to help you engage with your child’s development through this program.
The Purpose of this Development Program
The purpose of this program is to encourage your child to engage in their own self-directed learning which prompts their thinking processes to discover the value of their imaginations, their self-determination and their proactive processes.
How the Program Works
We use a process of learning in this program called “Spaced Repetitious Learning.” Your child will be asked to listen and/or read each lesson three days in a row before they go to a series of action steps. We have intentionally designed the lessons to be short, no more than five to eight minutes. We don’t want this to feel like home work. They will then be asked to complete the action steps.
They are given a task of completing a five medallion carabiner during the entire program to keep as a reminder of their hard work and the value of what they have learned. However, they will be asked to not put the medallions on the carabiner until they have completed all the action steps after each session.
Your child has been encouraged to come to you for help when needed. Be prepared to help them with understanding the process rather than finishing it for them. I also suggest that you encourage your child in the completion of the carabiner. Young people respond to winning. Encourage the completion of the carabiner as an important step and a big win.
Rules for Guiding the Completion of the Program
- Always encourage.
- Help when needed.
- Approach the program as important but never push; always encourage. Understand that some youth are just not ready. If you find a lack of interest, just put the program away for a different time. Youth change quickly, and next year may be completely different.
- Try to make it fun! Check in with them every 3-5 days and see how the carabiner is going. Praise them when you see the medallions growing on the carabiner.
I am excited that you and your child are involved in LifeLine. I wish you and your child success in this program. We have a common interest: helping your child feel empowered to lead their lives over the noise of technology and social distraction. Your child is your unique gift filled with all the unique gifts of their own unique self. It is my sincere hope that this program can help you and your child in that journey.