Is it enough to expect our kids to write and then just require them to do it? Or do we need to do the very things we’re asking our kids to do? Can I turn my teens into Brave Writers if I’m not one myself?
I don’t have a clear answer. All I have is my own experience, which is when I do the things – okay, most of the things – I ask my high schoolers to do, I’m more compassionate and empathetic towards what they’re going through as they learn.
There’s a strong correlation between the relationship with the teacher and the student’s learning. The kids know when we sincerely relate to what they’re going through vs paying lip service. When we’re willing to work just as hard vs passing the buck to them. They know it.
So I’m in the weeds. Writing for myself. And for them too in a way. I see them. I feel it – the anxiety of a blank page, the challenge of organizing my thoughts, making them clear to others, the fear of other people’s judgment.
I also feel the thrill. What makes writing fun? What conditions help someone write? How do I know unless I experiment for myself?
So yesterday I wrote in my basement, a place with no windows, scruffy walls needing new paint, no gorgeous view of a wooded backyard to distract me. Basically a cave. With air conditioning. And a cat.
I snipped and pinned my own work. My boys came down and were like, what is Mom doing in the basement?
I’m writing! Look at my mess! Isn’t it great?!
What did I learn about myself as a writer? The basement cave was productive. Cafe mochas help me focus. And I have things to say.