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All right. Well, welcome back to another episode of YouSchool podcast. I'm Scott Schimmel. Today, what we're talking about is in many ways trying to reverse engineer, as we think about kids, reverse engineer the kind of people that we hope they become. And this is one of the most core exercises that we do with educators and parents, is to actually take a few minutes, more than a few minutes to imagine and describe who you hope your kid or kids or students, or athletes are like, when they get older, pick an age 25, 30, 35. Think of maybe a life stage, maybe they're parents, they have a job. They're married, kind of the traditional, you know, what are, or untraditional route that you imagine that they take? And then to describe the kind of characteristics that they have. Attributes What is it like to be around them? What's it like to be them? What would they say? How would they talk? How would they think? How would they handle money?
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What kind of neighbor and friend would they be. All those kinds of three dimensional ways. Because I think generally, we all hold this sense, this notion, we of course, want our kids to be happy and healthy and safe and well adjusted and self sufficient. But the exercise that we found to be extremely useful is to go many steps beyond that to describe who you hope they are.
Unknown Speaker 1:40
And if you can get some clarity, and you can. It'll take some time, but you can get clarity on that. Then we start reverse engineering that if you have a kid that's 10 or 15, two or 21. What, here's the question in this episode, if, if you hope they become like those things, that kind of person, that kind of person, that kind of friend, that kind of employee, leader, parent, spouse,
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person. That's your family. Then the question is, and this episode is going to try to answer, what experiences do they need in order to become that. because you don't just wake up one day kind, you don't just wake up one day, having a servant's heart, you don't wake up one day, being a good friend. Those are experiences that you learn and grow through. And the natural result of serving, for example, is a servant's heart, typically, but it's more likely than not going to happen. So seven essential experience, experiences every kid needs. And I would encourage you as you listen to this or watch this. To think about this, consider this on two levels. One would be your own experiences as you grew up the formative ones that shaped you into who you are today. And then the second as the adult, the parent, the teacher, the coach, to be thinking about what can you do to create or curate experiences for your kids or students that would really benefit them. And it's not just experiences, of course, it's learning from experiences debriefing, reflecting on that really make an impact. The first one we're gonna talk about is work. I'm so happy and proud. My 16 year old son now has two jobs. Second job, he just got a job and and what he's learning and navigating through one, on one hand, he's doing childcare at a church. I asked him maybe three or four shifts into his job, months ago. How was it tonight? I picked him up. And he said, "Boring."
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And we were talking about that. And one of the insights he got, as it was, quote unquote, boring work was
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he had been, I think, kind of struggling to figure out where's his place as a student? And college? What What role does college play for him in his future, and we just had this brief conversation about how, without a college degree, it can limit your opportunities for work, and especially work that let's say is boring, tedious, monotonous, not your sweet spot. Those are, you know, the pie chart is much bigger for those kinds of jobs without a college degree. Rather than if you had one, it creates more opportunities for you to do work that you, that matters. And we had this great conversation about work for me that makes me come alive and not only provides for family, but you know, all those things. So how do you how do you do this one, I think you set an expectation, if you're a parent, for your kids that they do get a job. And that job given given the constraints of who they are and the time that they have if they're involved in doing activities or sports, or super rigorous academic calendar. There's still quite a bit of margin that I found
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for them to get work, and I'm so happy for my son because he's the oldest of three. And he's setting this pace for our other two kids that it's normal when you're 16, to start having a job, and work has led for him to money to income, into buying things to be mature and making wise choices, but sometimes how he spends his money.
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And I'm so happy that he's getting these these experiences, where his other job, he just commented that a lot of the kids don't, that other people in his job, they kind of they slack off. And so that similar kind of, "What kind of employee are you going to be?" And I don't know, I can't control that. But I can certainly help him reflect on that and think about it and challenge him. So work experience is a really big important part. At a young age, too. I know looking back on my life, if it wasn't for the jobs I had, I don't think I would have been a hard worker that I am now, it was because I was in a job when I was 17. And I had spent months just mailing it in, and it occurred to me one day, it's really, really boring like that. It is monot... it's tedious, it's awful, to go to a job and not try. It's actually worse. So I did this experiment when I was 17. What if I lean into this and did the best I could just for a day. I think I then expanded it to a week. And I'd say now that I don't know, it's like 25 years later, that experiment has been pretty interesting. I enjoy work, the more I'm engaged. Second one. I mentioned this earlier, I hope that my kids grow up with a servant heart and seeing their their place and they have a role inside of a community. And that a part of living life well is serving others. And this one's challenging for me, because I haven't I don't think I've modeled this very well. And I don't think I've led very well in taking like, so if I want that to be true, and yet, I don't ever give them the experiences- or rarely, once a year or twice a year, infrequently give them an experience of service than why would I expect that they would? They might they might become servants and service oriented. But they probably won't. So this one's very challenging for me. Right now I'm trying to figure out what does it look like for us as parents to make sure that our kids are serving.
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Third, crossing cultures, this became really important to me more in college, because I chose to go, and the word I've used and heard uses displaced, intentionally displaced myself go to on very simple level restaurants or neighborhoods or hanging out with friends that come from a different culture than me. And the inevitability is it will make you feel uncomfortable, you'll feel out of place. It might be stressful. Or you might see things come up inside you like critique, contempt, comparison, judgmental, and, and actually to do that, and in a context of being able to debrief and reflect on that.
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It's incredibly helpful. Because I hope that my kids can navigate Well, in a complex world, I hope my kids can see and learn from other cultures and find richness and texture in life, and cultures that are outside of their own, their own kind of native culture. And so how do we model that as parents as adults, I remember having exercise assignment in class in college, we had to do this. We had to go to restaurants and other faith expressions-
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Buddhists, Muslim, Catholic, Protestant Christian, we had to go to these different experiences and then write about them. It is incredibly fascinating to be forced to do that. And to have my eyes opened, and to find appreciation, great appreciation, and friendship.
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Fourth, experiences of independence. I've mentioned this before in previous episodes, but having my kid, my son traveled by himself.
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My wife and I frequently talk about this summer that we spent studying abroad together in college in Florence, Italy, and the independence that that brought. The being in charge, autonomy, self sufficiency, this was pre kind of cell phones and internet sort of figure out how to get from here to there. Take care of yourself and laundry and exchanging money and those experiences will grow you up. So if you've got this imagination that your kids are self sufficient and autonomous and responsible, take care of their lives. They have to have experiences then of being independent.
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Fifth, just a couple more. I believe that every kid needs to have experiences of adventure, and it's through adventure
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that kids underst, get to know and learn about themselves. They get to reflect on who they are and who they're not. They get to feel like they're coming alive.
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I think confidence is built through adventure.
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Life joy, meaning stories to share- all these. So how do we create and give permission, and maybe even invite them on adventures and plan it for them? I think it's a cred, incredibly important. Six, success, I think, and I've talked about this in other episodes, I'll link to every kid needs to have experiences that they have something to bring to the table, they have value, they can contribute, and other adults will look at them and say, Wow, that's yeah, that's impressive. You were able to do something that could be giving a presentation, it could be solving a problem. It can be
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managing a complex relationship, there's there's lots of lenses to look at, with our kids to see how they are being successful at an adult level, but oftentimes, we don't give them that opportunity. Because the opportunity and the last one is ripe. We want to set them up for success, they might experience failure. And I think every kid needs to have multiple experiences of failure, to learn about themselves, to learn how to process
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who they really are the true identity, not a false identity. I believe that failure teaches you how to be resilient. it refines what really matters to you. And it can help you find like an internal engine a drive deep down, to continue to push forward and grow and change. So I know we're missing, I'm missing start. This is the start. The seven- Work, Service Crossing Cultures, Independence, Adventure, Success and Failure. These essential experiences that every kid's kid needs. What am I missing? What would you add to? What are the experiences that you've had that really shaped you? And let's make this a part of the conversation. How do we design these moments, these experiences for kids that can change them and help them grow up? Hey, thanks for joining in on The YouSchool podcast. We'd love to share with you the resources available on our website at theyouschool.com not just articles, ebooks, worksheets and other podcasts episodes. But specifically you should know about a free course we have available called The Real Me course. It's digital, it's interactive, and it'll guide you to get clear about who you are in a great story you could tell with your life. So go register for a free account and get started on The Real Me course today at theyouschool.com. That's the you school school.com.