Lessons Learned from Years with Tips

How to Help the Youth Become Involved in Their Communities

A lot of parents could not even get their kids to clean up their rooms, so it’s impossible to make teenagers to their computers and take on an “impossible” feat, right? Wrong. There are techniques to persuade them to move out of their self zones and grow concern for the world around them.

If you’re a parent, these steps can help you mold your teens into responsible and community-loving adults in the future:

1. Give them autonomy.

How do you think would it feel if someone were to breathe down your neck each and every time you move? That’s exactly how it is for most teenagers. Adults can get quite defensive when this point is raised, saying their kids have to act more responsibly before they can be given autonomy. Fact is, the opposite is true: how can a young person act more responsibly if he is never given the chance? If anything, psychological research has uncovered that as you trust someone more, he is more likely to act the way you want him to.

2.Show real empathy.

Empathy is so much more than simply putting yourself in the other person’s shoes or being a very comforting listener. It’s actually feeling the emotions of the other. If your kid’s pet dog died, for example, empathizing is not saying, “I know how it feels.” Empathy is grieving with him. If your teen is hung up on looking “uncool” when volunteering, don’t dismiss it as “teens being teens.” Empathy takes decisive action: how can you make volunteering cool?

3. Set a good example.

Kids have never been superb at listening to their parents, but they have always imitated them. And there’s a biological logic behind that. Ever heard about mirror neurons and their impact on group behavior? Here’s the bottom line: don’t expect your children to do what you yourself couldn’t.

4. Appreciate their efforts.

Feeling like you don’t see them is a sure way to kill their motivation. After all, why contribute you don’t feel like you’ve done a part? This is why it’s critical that you communicate to them that their work is highly valued. And you have to say it to each of them, and not merely address a group.

5. Give them a meaningful purpose.

Why do these young people need to do all of these? Is it to make their parents happy? Is it to spend time with someone they like? To gain some kind of points for their grades? All of these are poor motivation. Explain to them how the youth’s service can bring great benefit to your community, and what can happen if they don’t show up. This is more effective because a purpose in life is one of the most key factors that lead to psychological and even physical health. Proof is retiree volunteers living longer lives and being less likely to suffer depression compared to others who’d rather stay at home.