From minor daily changes to major life-altering events, change can bring about a wide range of emotions and challenges, especially for teenagers who are still navigating their way through adolescence. If you notice that your teen struggles to adapt to change, perhaps consider using the power of storytelling as a tool to help them understand and cope with change healthily and positively. In this article, we will explore the analogy of “The Boulder” as a powerful story to teach your teen about change and how they can best respond to it.
Imagine standing at the bottom of a steep, muddy slope, looking up toward the top of the hill. Suddenly, you see a giant boulder of mud rolling downhill toward you, gaining speed and momentum. You feel paralysed, unable to move out of the way, knowing that if you stand in its path, you will be sent flying like a bowling pin.
This is the starting point of the story of “The Boulder,” which can serve as an allegory for the challenges and uncertainties of change that your teen may face in their life.
Lesson 1: The Importance of Adapting to Change
As the boulder approaches, the first lesson from the analogy is the importance of adapting to change. Just like the boulder heading towards you, change can feel overwhelming and daunting at first. It may trigger feelings of fear, anxiety, and uncertainty. However, the key is to notice what’s happening, to be aware of your reaction, and to take action. In the face of change, encourage your teen to ask themselves questions like “What can I do?” or “How can I respond?” This practice of thinking in flexible ways can empower your teen to take control of the situation and find ways to navigate through the challenges that change brings.
Lesson 2: Things Always Seem Bigger After They’ve Built Up
In the story “The Boulder,” we learn that the boulder wasn’t always as big as it appears now. It started as a small clump of dirt and gained size and momentum as it rolled down the hill, collecting more dirt along the way. This is similar to how changes can feel in our lives. Sometimes, we may try to avoid or resist small changes, thinking they are manageable or insignificant. However, over time, these small changes can accumulate and eventually feel much bigger and more overwhelming to tackle. This can also happen when multiple changes occur rapidly, one after another, and we may feel like we are being bombarded by waves of uncertainty and instability. In such situations, it’s important to remember that we can always take a step back and ask ourselves, “What can I do to make this feel less overwhelming?” Breaking down the changes into smaller, manageable steps and gaining perspective can help your teen navigate through the challenges of change more effectively.
Lesson 3: Every moment, feeling, or experience eventually loses momentum and passes.
As the boulder in the story “The Boulder” progresses down the hill, gathering more dirt and momentum, the landscape changes and reveals a surface of pristine white ceramic tiles underneath all the dirt. As its momentum and size dwindle, all that’s left of the boulder are clots of the earth. Finally, the boulder disintegrates entirely, leaving behind a moment of peace, relief, and stillness. This part of the story teaches us that nothing can maintain relentless momentum forever, not even change. Change and the accompanying feelings of loss and grief may feel like they will never pass, but eventually, they do. Just like the boulder dissipates and reveals the pristine white tiles underneath, change eventually fades away, leaving behind a sense of calm and resolution. This can be a comforting reminder for your teen when facing challenging changes in their life, knowing that even the most overwhelming situations will eventually pass, and a sense of peace and stability will be restored.
Lesson 4: Finding Strength in Resilience
Throughout the story of “The Boulder,” the protagonist, who is faced with the impending threat of the boulder, displays resilience and resourcefulness in adapting to the changing situation. They take action, break down the problem into smaller steps, and find ways to navigate through the challenges. This resilience and ability to adapt are important skills for your teen to develop in the face of change. It’s important to remind your teen that they have the strength and resilience within them to face any change that comes their way. Encourage them to tap into their inner resources, seek support from loved ones, and use problem-solving skills to find solutions and cope with change in a positive and healthy manner.
Lesson 5: Embracing the Beauty of Impermanence
Change is a natural part of life, and it’s important for your teen to understand that impermanence is a fundamental aspect of the human experience. Just like the boulder in the story, change is constantly occurring, and nothing in life remains static forever. The impermanence of life can be both challenging and beautiful at the same time. It’s important to help your teen understand that change can bring new opportunities, growth, and learning experiences. Encourage them to embrace the beauty of impermanence and see change as a chance for personal growth and development.
Lesson 6: The Power of Storytelling
The story of “The Boulder” serves as a powerful tool to help your teen understand and cope with change. Storytelling has been used for centuries as a way to convey important lessons, morals, and truths. Stories engage our imaginations, emotions, and cognitive processes, making complex concepts more accessible and relatable. By using storytelling, you can help your teen connect with the analogy of “The Boulder” on an emotional level, making it easier for them to understand and internalise the lessons about change and adaptation.
In conclusion, change is inevitable, and it can be challenging for teenagers who are still navigating their way through adolescence. However, by using the power of storytelling, you can help your teen understand and cope with change in a healthy and positive way. The story of “The Boulder” teaches important lessons about adapting to change, managing overwhelming situations, finding strength in resilience, embracing impermanence, and the power of storytelling as a tool for understanding complex concepts. Encourage your teen to develop resilience, tap into their inner resources, seek support, and view change as an opportunity for growth and learning. With these lessons and tools, your teen will be better equipped to face the inevitable changes that life brings their way and thrive in the face of adversity. Change may be inevitable, but with the right mindset and tools, your teen can navigate through it with grace and resilience.