I took this photo just a few weeks before my oldest kid graduated from high school. Something gripped me in the moment that I snapped the photo, a nostalgia about the calendar marching forward.
It was the last year my kids would be together at the same school and I rushed to preserve the sweetness of them being together.
Here’s the thing: this photo represents a very rare intersection of my kids’ paths. They tended to operate in parallel. The photo shows what I want for my kids: connection. But the reality has been quite different.
Both of my kids had rocky middle and high school years, on the fringe of the crowd.
Like me, they’re strong introverts, and in these formative years, they’ve both struggled to find their tribes.
I worry about them, hoping that they form bonds with people who enrich their lives, who support my kids’ innate personalities, who affirm them at their best, and who share fun and tears – the full emotional spectrum – with my children.
I created this virtual group because it’s what I wanted for my own children, a gathering where:
Quiet natures are affirmed and there’s an understanding of the different faces of quiet, including introversion, shyness, perfectionism, and social anxiety
Teens learn to recognize their own strengths and know themselves well
They have emotional safety to express what’s going on for them in school, in social situations, and in their own minds and hearts
They acquire practical tools to open up and share with people who matter to them
Teens connect with people who are just like them so that they receive the message that they’re not alone and they’re not broken – rather, they belong to a tribe of extraordinary people
Schools reward raised hands, vocal contributions, and class participation, yet not all of us fit in that world. We’re typically engaged the classroom, but engagement can look very different from lively classroom discussions where extroverts thrive. When teachers and other students don’t see behavior that aligns with their expectations, they can make assumptions. Maybe we’re not that interested, maybe we’re not paying attention. Not so.
Imagine what it would be like for your child to gather in a circle (via an online video platform where they don’t need to leave the comfort of home) and connect with others like them. They’ll have their quiet natures affirmed, and time to consider and process their responses (having received an outline in advance of the meeting). They can bypass superficial conversations (although our activities will often be lighthearted, they’ll be intended to add depth to the connection among group members).
They’ll be able to bring questions and struggles to the group for input, and each session will include practical tips for areas of their lives that matter most to them, including:
friendships, classroom interactions, assignments required to be completed in groups, large group settings, such as the school cafeteria, awkward social situations, including riding the school bus and school activities, questions about what their futures hold, including possible career paths
Criteria for joining
This group is designed for you if you fit all of the following:
My intent is to build community, and I’ve found that being in the same life-stage can be very useful in connecting group participants.
It’s not necessary for you to have taken the formal MBTI assessment, but it’s helpful to be familiar with introversion and to have a sense of resonance with this term.
We’re going to delve into some potentially controversial topics such as identity, connection, and social and political issues. We’ll build psychological safety so that we touch on ideas and issues that might not be discussed elsewhere, but you may be introduced to views that differ dramatically from your own and those of your household.
You’ll find a link at the bottom of this page to use to answer a few questions and to set up time on my calendar for us to meet via Zoom. When I email you confirmation about our call, I’ll let you know the questions that I’ll ask you during our ~20 minutes together, and I’ll invite you to bring your own questions.
We’ll meet weekly via Zoom for 75-90 minutes in a community of 6-8 teens.
$220 for the series
6 sessions of group connection and learning
Structured interactions between meetings that are quick and fun
Practical tips and tools to address common areas of concern
Access to me for quick email questions between meetings
Option to schedule individual sessions with me for 20% off
Group session for parents to discuss parenting a quiet teen