One of the most valuable tools I’ve seen in talking to teens about where they are in life now, and where they will end up, is the “Life Hike” from one of the workbooks I mentioned in my last blog. Aspire describes in Chapter 1 on page 8 (LINK), how life is like a series of mountains to climb, with each mountain representing a different age, beginning with 1-15, 15-30 and so on. Can you imagine having a conversation with your teen about transitioning from “dependence” (on you!) and beginning to gain more independence? I wish I’d had this tool to help me talk through this stage of life with my daughters! Take a look at the above link, and perhaps draw out on a piece of paper the 6 “mountains,” asking him or her to put a mark on the spot “where you are now.” Then ask, “How much of your life is behind you, and how much is ahead?” and “Which mountain would you say represents the most important period of time for you to be thinking about now, and why?”Where they are now is at the precipice of young adulthood…where they will be increasingly responsible for these decisions. This activity can be done to help a young person realize that all of these critical decisions are still ahead, and while the past is important, it’s past! The decisions he or she will face in these next few years have the power to set the course for the rest of life…including those goals we talked about last week that they might have for themselves!