This summer I've been working on a big writing project, something that might turn into a book, around the idea of Essential Experiences. My aim is to boil down the most consistently powerful, formative, awareness-building experiences of adolescence. The ones that we as parents and educators hope to give our kids, but might forget about in the rush of all the other things we're trying to accomplish. Each "Essential Experience" is a short chapter in this book, with research, stories, and rationale as to why an experience could be so formative. They start off simple, for example with the experience of keeping a journal (a simple but transformative practice in my own life, starting at age 10!). They get much more complex and challenging, like mediating a conflict between peers, learning how to deconstruct an advertisement, or taking the challenge of camping by yourself for a night.
Long story short: I'm looking for beta testers, people willing to give these ideas a test. That means you're either a teenager willing to try one of these, or if you're an adult, there are adolescents in your life who you could offer one of these to as a challenge. If you're interested, I'll send you the pre-publication, version 1.0 Essential Experiences list. For the first 20 people who respond, I’ll also send a hard-copy deck of Essential Experiences cards, as a fun way to play with these ideas. My only request in return is that you tell me how it goes! I'd love your feedback on the experiences, and to hear stories of how they resonate with a young person in your life.
Send me an email or leave a comment if you're interested and I'll send the Essential Experiences your way!