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? Probably not. There are methods to influence them to stretch out of their self zones and have greater concern for the people 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 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. For example, if your child’s pet fish died, you empathize not by saying “It’s understand how you feel.” To empathize is to grieve 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 of mirror neurons and how they affect group behavior? Bottom line is, don’t demand from your teens what you won’t do yourself.
4. Appreciate their contributions.
Feeling invisible to you is an excellent way to quash their motivation. After all, why pitch in when you feel like nothing’s changed? 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 teens have to do all these things? Is it to make their parents happy or proud? Is it to have an excuse to spend time with someone they like? To get some kind of points from their teacher? All of these are 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 is retiree volunteers living longer lives and being less likely to suffer depression compared to others who’d rather stay at home.