It’s time to start school and our family of teens and young adults is starting a new tradition. We’re calling it TransitionTalks: an intentional time and place to stop and take an account before school sweeps us up, up and away.
We want to look our children in the eyes, hear from their hearts and speak life for an uninterrupted hour.
To facilitate this kind of valuable conversation, my husband Richard and I have decided to treat each family member to an individual breakfast date and make a mini-party of it. We are including a small gift (We chose a gift certificate towards a new item of clothing for the first day of school), a helium balloon to make it festive, and an encouraging note to savor later.
We have also prepared a list of conversation starters and I have emailed the questions ahead so each of us has time to deliberate. But we don’t want our young adults to feel pinned by a volley of prickly questions. We will answer the same questions and invite our teens to speak into our lives.
Here are our conversation starters:
- What were the highlights of your summer? Did you finish everything you wanted to accomplish? How can we help you close out the summer well?
- Is there a relationship you want to strengthen before school starts? How would you like to reach out?
- How is God speaking to you? How has He revealed Himself to you? What do you love best about Him?
- What do you perceive is the Lord’s direction for your life? Are you on course to realize that plan? Do you need to course correct (tweak your direction) to remain in obedience?
- As you look ahead to the new school year, what are you most looking forward to? What are your concerns? How can we help you prepare? Do you have the fall clothes and books you need?
- What are your plans for nurturing your relationships this semester: the Lord, family, friends, mentors and mentorees?
- How do you plan to manage your time: classes, church, work, chores, homework, sports, extracurricular activities? Do you anticipate having enough margin (personal space and time)? Do you need to add or omit an activity?
- In what ways is our family excelling? What can we do better?
- What are you daring to dream? What are you willing to risk for God and others this year? What are your next steps to obey God in this God-sized calling?
- Is there anything your dad or I need to ask forgiveness for?
- How can we pray for you?
By providing this inviting space to evaluate the summer and vision the upcoming school year, we hope to end and begin in right relationship. Mostly we want to remind our teens and young adults that we love doing life with them!