How Having a Vision Helps Your Middle & High School Students Do Hard Things

My kids’ sighs are barely audible above the sound of their eyeballs rolling out of their heads and across the floor when I bring up school work over the summer. Sounds dramatic, doesn’t it? Well, it is. And as a passionate educator, I’m bummed that they consider learning activities like reading and math not-fun

Luckily, I’m never discouraged for long and, instead of dwelling on what they’re not doing with a smile and a nod, I turn to the amazing growth I’ve seen in each of my 3 kiddos’ motivation to do hard things when they have a clear vision of what they want to get out of the activity. 

Some examples I’ve seen of vision leading the way this summer are in helping with chores, practicing sports in the backyard, drinking enough water, making healthy eating choices, going to strength training, folding laundry, and attending 3 hours of driver’s education daily.

In each of these situations, my kids’ motivation increased when they perceived the worth of the hard work, and it got them to the next step of something bigger and better. The power of vision! 

And, if how we do anything is how we do everything, I can use the success-mindset that my kids found in one area of their lives as a catalyst for success in others.

Take, for example, my conversation with a darling 8th grader who was really reluctant to meet with me for Study Skills & Executive Function Coaching in early July. I could tell by his body language (his eyes did stay politely in his head) that he’d probably rather be scuba diving in a shark tank than sitting with me, and frankly, I didn’t blame him. Up until the point of our conversation, he’d felt like everything he was doing for school was for everyone BUT him. Does this sound familiar? 

And so we began our conversation with the question, “What’s your vision of what you want to be doing in 15-20 years?” Pretty abstract, but we continued to unpack his excitement about driving a certain car, living in a certain house, having a certain job…and then in small steps, we backed all of these ideas down to the NOW to realize that there are approaches to school that he can practice in order to get where he wants to be in the future. 

And Voila! – the magic wand of the vision: it gives the work worth

What hard things do you and your kids have on your plates this summer? Use the power of creating a personal vision to eat the elephant one bite at a time! 

Need help? I have special training in the vision-setting process and would love to jump in to get you and your family started!

Need a place to get started? Download our Wheel of Life tool. The 30 minutes you spend on it will change your life. After you do the activity, please comment on your experience!

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Cara Thorpe
Founder & Visionary
Yellow Parachute Learning Partners