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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? Probably not. There are approaches to inspire them to go out of their self zones and develop 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 would you feel if someone would always be breathing down your neck each time you move? That’s exactly how it is for most teenagers. Most adults get quite defensive when this matter is brought up, saying their kids first become responsible before they can be granted autonomy. Truth is, it’s the opposite that is actually true: how can they act more responsibly if they are not given 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 not just “putting yourself in another’s shoes” or being a very good listener. It’s feeling the feelings of others. For example, if your child’s pet fish died, you empathize not by saying “It’s understand how you feel.” Empathy is grieving together. If your teen is scared of looking “uncool” when volunteering, it shouldn’t be simply accepted as “teens being teens.” Empathy requires decisive action, such as taking steps to 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 the reason behind that is largely biological. Ever heard about mirror neurons and their influence 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 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 critical that you communicate to them that their work is highly valued. And it’s important to actually tell them individually rather than as a group.

5. Offer 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 have an excuse to spend time with someone they like? To get some kind of points from their teacher? Each of those is 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 definitely more effective because a purpose in life is one of the most vital factors that promote psychological and also 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.

Support: Discover More

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