Lessons Learned from Years with Tips

Teaching the Youth to Be Community-Oriented

Majority of parents can’t even convince their kids to tidy up their bedrooms, so it’s impossible to encourage teenagers to dump their computers and work on an “impossible” endeavor, right? Wrong. There are approaches to inspire them to go out of their self zones and develop concern for the world around them.

As a parent, the following steps can aid you molding your teens into responsible as well as community-loving adults someday:

1. Give them autonomy.

How would you probably like it if someone were to always breathe down your neck whenever you move? That’s exactly the way most teenagers feel. Most adults get quite defensive when this matter is brought up, saying their kids first become responsible before they can be granted 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 inquiries have revealed that when you place more trust in someone, he is more likely to do as you would like him to.

2. Show real empathy.

Empathy is beyond being a good listener or putting yourself in the other’s shoes.” 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.” To empathize is to grieve with him. If your teen is afraid of looking “uncool” when they volunteer, don’t simply accept it as “teens being teens.” Empathy entails decisive action, like exploring ideas on how to make volunteering cool.

3. Set a good example.

While children have never been great at listening to their parents and elders, but they have always unconsciously mimicked them. And there’s a biological logic behind that. Ever heard of mirror neurons and how they affect group behavior? Here’s the bottom line: don’t expect your teens to do what you personally wouldn’t.

4. Appreciate their efforts.

Feeling invisible to you is an excellent way to quash their motivation. After all, why contribute you don’t feel like you’ve done a part? This is why it’s vital to express to them that their work is making a significant difference. And you need to say it to them individually, not as a group.

5. Give them a meaningful purpose.

Why do these teens have to do all these things? Is it to make their parents happy or proud? Is it to spend time with someone they like? To increase their grades? These are all poor motivation. Try explaining to them how the youth’s service can contribute to the overall good of your community, and what the possibilities are 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 and less likely to be depressed than their stay-home counterparts.

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