What happens if you’re faced to help raise an adult-aged child of your own whom needs guidance, obviously has potential but simply succumbs to now “young adult-hood” peer pressure and is headed down a path of visible self destruction? What happens if it’s not your child but a good friend, relative or even your spouse’s child?
Do you RUN like hell? Just kidding?
I used the phrase “faced to help raise an adult-aged child” because many of us are aware of the fact that many children need guidance long after they leave home, turn 21 or even graduate from High School and even college and graduate school. I sure know I needed help—I still do at 42! Ha!
Would you employ or at least attempt to employ the “It takes a village to raise a child” approach or would you seriously “run like hell” by ignoring this issue?
As a parent and a former educator and now mentor, my experience with young adults ranges from 15-29 years old, both male and female. What I’ve found is that the number one demonstration long before any attempt to get involved with a young adult who doesn’t seem to be on the right path is to Live and therefore demonstrate HOW OUR LIVES ARE WORKING FOR US.
You may be wondering…of course, Dr. Curt, that’s pretty obvious! But not really because many of us as adults beyond the age of 29 have the illusion that our lives are working out just find for us. We have a career or a job, we own a home or business, we are law-abiding citizens, we’ve graduate from high school, college and graduate school and we even have kids of our own whom seem to have turned out alright. The illusion can be further hidden because within those milestones, achievements and rites of passages, many of us have simply just learned how to cope. We’ve learned how to effectively and consistently use our strong suits to get what we want. We’ve learned how to safely “fly under the radar” and we even live in our “own boxes” of how we thing one should live.
As parents, mentors and educators, we all know that kids and young adults don’t necessarily listen to what we say at the expense of overlooking what we do. From my experiences, it has also been shown that young adults listen and learn from older adults, only, as a result of a significant relationship built with that older adult. Many times, a significant relationship still does not offset young, off-track adults who simply insist on learning things from experience or “the hard way”, as our parents used to say.
I’ve learned that the best way to support a young adult is to, initially, spend some time asking critical questions about how the young adult would like to relate. The terms of the relationship must be negotiated at the onset with both parties. Otherwise things could get difficult in terms of expectations. When young adults are invited into a mentorship relationship they must have a clear stake and understanding about the dynamics of the relationship not only goals and objections to attain.
So far, we’ve discussed the notion of demonstrating an effective, happy, healthy lifestyle for a young adult to aspire to or even to just witness in action. Most of us learn from watching others and “doing” ourselves. We’ve also discussed ensuring the significance of the relationship by allowing the young adult to contribute and then agree to the terms of that relationship. Last, I would like to add that after the consistent demonstration, and the negotiating of the terms of interaction, then there’s the natural result of RELATING. As humans, many of us missed the entire notion of relating to others which continue to cause damage, resistance and frustration with RELATIONSHIPS.
We missed learning how to communicate effectively, we missed learning how to act and conduct ourselves independently for a chance to explore interdependency. We missed how to effectively and healthily express our emotions and feelings and to know what it’s like to have a deep feeling and opportunity to feel valued as a person with a freedom of self-expression.
We missed these things! Many of us were raised by well-intended teachers, parents, community leaders, neighbors, extended family, older siblings, foster parents, step parents, you name it. Most of them meant well but most subconsciously and unconsciously raised children, teenagers and young adults like they were raised. Yep! It does take the Village concept to raise a child but please understand that this was also with the understanding that the Villagers were healthy adults themselves. Many were not. Many lacked the effective spiritual, mental, emotional, financial, psychological, nutritional, educational and experiential experiences.
In closing, the three things I believe need to take place in order to help our children within our communities to be RAISED to RELATE in order to have effective RELATIONSHIPS are:
1. Effective demonstration of healthy lifestyle by adults
2. Development of significance whereas the young adults have a “say-so” of the terms of the relationship upfront
3. Allow the young adult to naturally gain awareness and the tools to RELATE in all other relationships with consistent time from a healthy, courageous adult
We can do it. Let’s all get started!
Your comments and suggestions are welcomed.
Love & Light
Curtis D. Jasper, PhD, is considered by many to be a Conscious Evolutionary Guide. With the drive to be aware and the experience of the wider horizon of Reality and Spirituality, Dr. Curt has developed an extensive background in the Spiritual and Transformative elements of life; one that is both knowledge and experienced based. Dr. Curt is a Spiritual Practitioner, a Spiritual Counselor, an activist, an entrepreneur, and an Evolutionary Educator. He is a former teacher, principal and educational consultant. With a Spiritual synthesis of education, health & wellness, personal development, entrepreneurship & metaphysical counseling, Dr. Curt is commonly also regarded as a Minister of Education. His focus has always been to Educate, Inspire & Change but his primary focal commitment centers around the plight of the Black Male in Today’s America and how he uses the teachings of Universal Spiritual Laws to counterbalance that existence.
His new book, lectures, speaking engagements and spiritual counseling practice will all be available 2014. Follow him on twitter @DrCurtisDJasper and on his Facebook Community Page- Dr. Curtis D. Jasper- The Maverick Metaphysician or on his Blog- drcurtdominick.empowernetwork.com