Empowering Choices

Today I'm thinking about choices and this John C. Maxwell quote.

Ah, responsible decision-making.
Not only is it one of CASEL's SEL Core Competencies,
but it's arguably one of the most important things
that we model to build in our young people,
the notion that every choice makes us who we are.

It was one of my favorite things to teach,
because it's so empowering to tell (and show!) 
our young people that they have the power to choose.
That their choices matter.
That they have a voice.
And that their voice matters.
Every moment of every day.

Full disclosure: I'm not really sure that I always did a great job of that with our own personal children. I know, I know. I didn't mean to be one of those lawnmower parents, but I always figured that a reminder couldn't hurt. Couldn't hurt, right? WRONG! Because those reminders often served as a crutch that disabled rather than empowered. They actually made our kids more dependent than independent. Truth be told, I almost did it again today. I'm walking past the calendar and I think to myself that it's almost February and I wonder if I should text our college kid to remind him to pay his rent on (or before!) the first. Really? Yep. Sigh. I didn't do it (so there's that), but it crossed my mind. Anyway, I'm pretty sure today's book rec could have helped me grow every bit as much as it'll serve the teens who are fortunate enough to have it as they do the work.

Enter The Power Of Choice: A Teen's Guide to Finding Personal Success, written by veteran teacher Claude B. Larson.

Designed to help our teenage learners build lifelong healthy habits
that could set them up for success, this interactive workbook
is filled with stories and exercises to stretch and grow
its readers as they wrestle with life's constant challenges. 
Think of them as Morning Meeting activities for our teens.

A few of the creative, catchy chapter titles include: 

Your Dirty Mind (Isn't that intriguing?)
Walk The Plank
You Snooze, You Lose (#Truth)
Have You Ever Felt Unappreciated? (Um, of course!)
Creating a Good Day
Who Would You Bet On? (English teachers: Should Who be Whom?)
What's Your Problem?
Get Out Of Control (Wait, what?)

Within the chapters, page after page of richness to feel their souls.

I'm grateful that Claude not only for her years
of teaching and mentoring our middle schoolers, 
but I'm also thankful that she penned her wisdom, 
then reached out to me so I could share it with you.

Check out this book for engaging ways to enrich what you're already doing to reach and reflect with those special teenagers in your life as they work with intention  to discover who they are, figure out what their purpose is, and learn how to make healthy choice as they pursue their passion.

And while they may not need texts to remind them to pay their rent,
our young adults can always benefit from our guidance, love 
and support as they journey through the choppy waters of life.

Because John C. Maxwell is right: 
Every choice we make becomes who we are.

Every moment of every day.


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