Teaching the Youth to Be Community-Oriented
Parents usually cannot even make their children clean up their rooms, so it’s impossible to encourage teenagers to abandon their computers and work on an “impossible” challenge, 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 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. However, it’s the opposite that is actually true: how are young people to act more responsibly if they never get the chance? If anything, psychological studies have discovered that the more you place your trust on someone, the more he will likely behave as you want him to.
2.Show real empathy.
Empathy is beyond being a good listener or putting yourself in the other’s shoes.” It’s feeling the feelings of others. If your child just lost his cat, you don’t empathize by saying, “I understand.” Empathy is grieving together. If your teen is hung up on looking “uncool” when volunteering, don’t dismiss it as “teens being teens.” Empathy entails decisive action, like exploring ideas on how to make volunteering cool.
3. Be a good example.
While children have never been great at listening to their parents and elders, but they have always unconsciously mimicked them. And the reason behind that is largely biological. Ever heard about mirror neurons and their impact on group behavior? Bottom line is, don’t demand from your teens what you won’t do yourself.
4. Appreciate their contributions.
Feeling like they’re invisible to you is a perfect way to douse their motivation. After all, why do you have to contribute when you don’t feel like it will change something? This is why it’s critical that you communicate to them that their work is highly valued. 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? Is it to spend time with someone they like? To increase their grades? These are all poor motivation. Tell them how the youth’s service can matter to the general good of your community, and what’s at stake if they don’t show up. This is good motivation because a purpose in life is one of the most crucial factors of psychological as well as physical health. Proof to that is retiree volunteers being less likely to be depressed and having longer lives than others who prefer to stay home.
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