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 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 the way most teenagers feel. Adults can get quite defensive when this point is raised, saying their kids have to act more responsibly before they can be given 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 so much more than simply putting yourself in the other person’s shoes or being a very comforting listener. 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 afraid of looking “uncool” when they volunteer, don’t simply accept it as “teens being teens.” Empathy requires decisive action, such as taking steps to make volunteering cool.
3. Be a good example.
Children may have never been great at listening to their parents, they have never failed to copy 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 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 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. Offer 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 get a chance to be close to someone they like? To gain some kind of points for their grades? Each of those is 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 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.