Updated: Aug 15, 2020
Discussing systems in a broader sense allows teens to start making connections. When we discuss the systems teens are part of and the responsibilities and consequences of being part of these systems, we can broaden the discussion to a world scale. By revealing the patterns between systems present in an individual’s life, teens can observe that the world as a whole, operates under systems that, if broken, have consequences. This is a powerful way to communicate family systems, responsibilities, leadership roles, and how the collective works in harmony. It also allows teens to see their impact in these circles of concern. Having broad discussions that lead back to them as individuals allows them to see the interconnectedness of everything.
Creating the context for a discussion is possible through literature or film. It is hard for teens to make meaningful connections to their character, or personal life, if they have no one to relate to. Using a film or speech allows them to make connections and teaches them how to use empathy by relating to authors, writers, characters in film or literature. It is all in the art of asking the right questions and trying to circle the discussion back to them, their values, their needs. Academic coaching is successful for that reason. It is a tactful, strategic way of teaching teens how to think. It guides them in seeing who they are in the world, class, family, community by understanding and relating. This increases critical thinking and empowers them to feel that they can trust their own intuition. Their understanding of leadership increases as they see patterns of it in a variety of systems, government, institutions, and personal life.