At Mars Venus Coaching we believe that learning comes in waves, of about eight years—at least it’s so for me. So, when I talk to soon-to-be high school graduates, I often ask myself what I wished I knew then, that I know now. As parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, neighbors, or mentors—what wisdom can we give that will be: (1) heard and (2) taken to heart?
First let me address why value-added insight seems to come in waves of every eight years. Then we’ll brainstorm how to impart relevant wisdom to our young birds about to take flight.
We’ll use Dr. John Gray’s interpretation of the developmental stages we all go through. He calls them the ten time periods. Instead of just listing the developmental stages he corresponds the time periods with what he calls love vitamins that help us develop into who we are and what love need that should be met during these time periods so we are able to stay connected to our true selves. So, when talking or filling out high school graduation cards—I get right to the meat—no platitudes here on going after dreams or reaching for the stars. As you read through this, think about whether you received enough of the love vitamins during each of your time periods so far. How can what you say to the high school graduates in your life grow from your own life experiences?
Time Period Love Vitamin Love Need
1. Conception to birth Vitamin G1 God’s love
2. Birth to seven Vitamin P1 Parents’ love
3. Seven to fourteen Vitamin F Family, friends, and fun
4. Fourteen to twenty-one Vitamin P2 Peers and others with similar goals
5. Twenty-one to twenty-eight Vitamin S Self-love
6. Twenty-eight to thirty-five Vitamin R Relationships and romance
7. Thirty-five to forty-two Vitamin D Loving a dependent
8. Forty-two to forty-nine Vitamin C Giving back to community
As you can see from the list above, most high school grads right now have their energy focused on peer approval and support of others who have similar aspirations. Even sharing words of experience with your high schoolers is a challenge. If it is not couched within this frame of reference, or if they’ve missed out on earlier love vitamins of being unconditionally accepted and loved for who they are—mistakes and all—it is really hard for them to hear anything that resembles advice.
Additionally, if they went through their high school years and didn’t get enough love from family and friends, or if they were too focused on doing well and not having enough fun, then they may have a deficiency in Vitamin F.