The teen years mark a developmental milestone in which children individuate from their parents. It is a time of exploration and self-discovery. Teenagers are beginning to develop a sense of who they are, their place in the world, their likes, dislikes and opinions. Adolescence is a time not only of tremendous physical change, but of social and emotional upheaval and growth as well. Expectations of the teen are changing as they and their families think ahead to adulthood and independent living.
The push and pull dynamic in teen-parent relationships is prevalent. While teenagers are still quite dependent on their parents in many ways, there is an emerging desire for teens to become more independent. Here in New York City, for example, the thought of traveling around town by subway or bus without relying on parents is appealing to many teens. Parents also may begin to expect that their teens take on more responsibility, by going to the store or running other errands, for example. While some oversight may be needed for some teens, it is reasonable to expect that teens can take more ownership of initiating social contact and completing assignments. Of course, while exciting, these changes can also bring about some anxiety for families. Helping a teen navigate this important transition to independence is a process and is experienced in different ways depending on the individual and family.
Four Spoons Teen Summer Experience provides teens the opportunity to test out and embrace their budding independence in a warm and nurturing setting. By developing lifelong skills such as cooking, budgeting, planning and learning to use public transportation, teens will lay the groundwork for living independently as adults.
The program builds on the unique strengths of each individual and encourages teens to explore what makes them stand out. Through cooking, art, music and socialization, participants will build self-confidence and find new ways to express themselves. Mastering new skills and trying new things, be it a new food or a leadership role, can help the teen on the path to greater independence.