Challenged him to figure it out in the next 14 days

Honeymoon bicycle trip
Organized to drive from Washington State University to Walt Disney World to start a new life.


Challenged him to figure it out in the next 14 days.

To prepare for the imminent changes in his life that High School will thrust upon him.

To up his game in owning and making the decisions that affect his life.

Less parenting, more empowering.

Scaling initiative.

To be prepared for life on his own.

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By jeff noel

Retired Disney Institute Keynote Speaker and Prolific Blogger. Five daily, differently-themed personal blogs (about life's 5 big choices) on five interconnected sites.


  1. These lessons will definitely set him apart. Not many freshman are having these kinds of talks with their parents.

  2. I have some thoughts. Composing them. It’s taking a while. I want to make sure to say things correctly.

  3. Any proven ideas? No way.
    Any speculative ideas? A few.(Caution/Disclaimer – Overgeneralized):
    – Many feel that high school is the time to be young and have fun, so don’t be hard on them, yet, because they’re still just “kids”. Some parents may have seen their high school years as a sort of glory days. So, there’s some vicarious reliving going on, too.
    – It seems high school isn’t meant to prepare you for life anymore. It’s meant to prepare you for college. General life skills don’t seem to be an emphasis, except those soft skills that come with team building in sports and music. (But what happens with the kids who don’t take part in that?) Fortunately, there are some teachers that emphasize being organized, approaching things methodically and being mentors to the kids. But overall, that’s not part of any sort of curriculum of a school. I do wonder where the school spirit/cultural community ideas come from? Do schools hire consultants? Is that necessary? I could see that being an issue of concern with a public school and the spending of taxpayer dollars.
    – If you already have an idea of what you want to do and want more specialized training, then you have to head to the county vocational school or even the local community college. Unfortunately, this dissimilates these kids from the general population they’re trying to assimilate into. (This probably applies, moreso to later high school, and not early high school.) However, the plus side to this is that one may be able to find their “tribe”, due to their similar interests and behaviors. The downside is that, unless you decide to take part in a group in school, it could be a source of discouragement.

    I’m, by no means, a school administrator. So, I can’t claim to speak authoritatively. Just thoughts at work.

  4. Craig, maybe, somewhere in this, we both cold use a reminder…the goal – in my opinion – is to teach personal responsibility – actions and consequences. It really doesn’t have anything to do with curriculum, grades, college, etc. It simply means that now is a great time to start making decisions for yourself that your parents used to make. Why? Because as you grow older, being decisive and handling the outcomes is a great confidence booster – even in failure. Failure is a great teacher. Of course, many decisions will affect grades, curriculum, ad college – but let the student learn to make them.

  5. You’re very right. After I posted this and walked away, I thought, what did that response even have to do with parenting or guidance. It was just a rant.
    But yes, letting our kids make the mistakes is huge.
    Thank you for righting that ship!

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