With over 40 years of experience mentoring young people and their families into "soulful adulthood", Randy Russell was guest on The Woodbury Report. Randy Russell is co-founder and owner of InnerPathWorks, a transition program for 'stalled' college aged and older young people. Joining host Lon Woodbury, Randy discussed the definitions of adulthood as he believes it to be: true adulthood is when a young person reaches the level of responsibility, morally and physically, a person who is healthy for themselves and their family, who can take of themselves and be an asset to everything around them. "To be part of the solution and not the problem" as Lon summarized.
On a deeper level, Randy explained the concept of "soulful adulthood", whereas a person has a deep self-knowledge of themselves. They work for a purpose that works with their unique personality and gives their lives purpose- a spiritual element to their lives. "As a human, we each have our own "soul print", to be in harmony with ourselves and our environment. To have and to live with bliss- a positive lifestyle".
The role of parents with a transitioning young adult is to make sure there are specific people in place for them, most importantly- that there is a support system of mentors for them: such as uncles and aunties to step in, an older person that shows up to show them how to transition, to help 'train your teenagers'. This training needs to include problem solving, self-care and the utilization of nature connections. The mentors and elders roles are to help them to understand "their song"- to understand what their unique gifts are. Parents need to step aside and let the elders mentor the children. A teenager is going to "hear" these mentors because they do not tune them out- they listen to wise mature adults. And as a teenager, they tune out their parents in order to "hear". In life they are already doing this, from the time they started school listening to their teachers. For a transitioning young person, they need to find what makes them unique and to find their natural gifts and talents. They need to have an understanding of what their passions are. Mentors with similar values as the parents can help with this by designing a "Rite of Passage" for the young person. It gives them a sense of direction, to learn to take on adult responsibilities, a recognition of accomplishment and the understanding that their role is changing. As they accomplish things they see that they have a 'voice' and feel proud about it. They have gained respect.
As a parent, their roles will change as well. They will go through their own transition- somewhat as an "empty nest syndrome". But yet, the impact on parents is incredible!
Listen to the full interview here: Transitions to Adulthood