Family Foundations: Cultivating Connection and Belonging

Like many adventurous spirits, I love to travel. As a mom and someone committed to supporting people on their learning journey, I use these experiences to make good memories while appreciating the intimate conversations that follow.

These moments contribute to what cultivates our connection and belonging (a chapter in my book, a pillar in The Modern Toolbox for Success) as we continue to build and nurture our relationships, even with our children and adult children – at every stage in life.

As families grow and face transitions together, so do the conversations with our emerging teenagers and young adults. What a privilege it is to listen and be present in their lives.

In supporting the student journey, discovering the why, how, and what is essential to create meaning with intention. As my tween and teen reflected on their first semester in 6th and 9th grade, the half-time show of the school year, I found these simple tools to be helpful:

What is your….

Why (I am curious to learn/understand your purpose)
How (I am open and listening to your vision)
What (I am excited to witness your authentic action)

This was a beautiful and simple way to bring up those “New Year” resolutions but with reflection and purpose, non-judgmental with spaciousness. At the same time, these thoughtful prompts support a student’s journey in self-awareness and empowerment as they grow into adulthood.

I hope these tips are helpful and support conversations at the dinner table as they did for my family.

Here is a new college guidance map for you to use as a family for The Road to College planning for all students as they embark on their journey to college and beyond!

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