Do you follow politics with your teen?
I know, I know, it’s certainly has its highs and (mostly) lows, but you really should be engaging with your teen in this area…for a very good reason:
We have a dearth of real leadership in our country these days!
No matter what your political persuasion, I think we can all agree with that statement, don’t you?
Don’t worry: I’m not about to get on a political soapbox here, and I’m certainly not going to tell you how to vote or who to vote for, or what side to be on for any particular issue. But I would encourage you to remember, as I keep reminding myself, that even though it looks like we’re leaving our children a messed-up future, it IS their future – and they have the power and potential ability to change it for the better…if they are prepared!
So, parents of teens, whether or not you homeschool, would you do
me us all a favor? Prepare your teen to be a leader!
How to Develop Leadership Skills in Your Teen
While I don’t want you to shoulder complete responsibility for your teen’s future (you most likely give yourself enough grief), there are simple steps you can take to get them started on the right track:
- Encourage them to read – books – preferably NOT on a Kindle – It’s not that I have anything against Kindles per se. But encouraging them to read “real” paper books, on topics that challenge them, will help them grow in ways that you may not even imagine. And paper books allow them to highlight, and underline, and make notes in the margins (yes, it’s ok to write in books if they’re yours), enabling them to make connections and engage fully with the content.
- Follow, and discuss, politics with them – Who knows where the discussions may lead? But help them to see the moral and/or ethical issues often involved, and help them understand the difference between politics and leadership (yup, there IS a difference!). Show them the links between our lives and the effect our leaders have on it.
- Try this Online Unit Study by the Techie Homeschool Mom, Beth Napoli. It’s a great introduction to elections and the political process as well.
- Ensure they study civics and government and American history, maybe study them together. And ancient history is important, too: we get many of our political principles from the Greeks and Romans.
- Also encourage them to keep up with current events. Use sites like CNN10 (a Student News channel) and ProCon.org to get the news in an age appropriate format.
- Give them opportunities to lead – Whether it’s in a Scout/AHG troop, teaching a Sunday School class, or Student Council or Key Club, or organizing a summer business or extra-curricular group of their own choosing… Often your local co-op will have some groups where this will be possible. Don’t succumb to the temptation to tell them how to lead, tho, or rescue them when they make a mistake, but be there to walk them through the lesson and help them learn how to bounce back up again.
Enjoy these other posts in Your Easy Guide to Homeschooling High School:
- Get a Plan
- The Power of Creative Electives
- Developing Leadership Skills in Your High Schooler
- Your High Schooler Needs to Watch These Before Graduation
- Tools for the Teacher: How to Ensure Your Teen Has a Thriving High School Experience