Is it me or when it comes to empowering the youth, it seems like there’s a major disconnect between young people and mature? It’s like nowadays because the youth are so different, most people don’t seem to take the time to get to know them; let alone why they think the way they do. Sure, there’s a few organizations and programs that have their hands tied up with the youngins but overall as individuals in our community, we can be doing a lot more.
So many people feel a certain way about our youth because of the way they act, speak, dress, think, or even what they like. People think that the youth are doomed and even tell them that they don’t think they’ll make it anywhere besides prison.
As sickening as this sounds, I cannot count how many times I hear adults say negative things regarding the young people, our future. It saddens me when I clearly see the discomfort some people get while in the presence of a young person.
I think the biggest misconception is that some adults and elderly think young people today should be treated the way they were growing up. Now, allow me to tread lightly because I personally don’t agree with some of the modern day parental teachings; but that’s a-whole-nother topic.
What I’m aiming to address is simply the communication and relationship building aspect with the youth and young people today. I feel our number one goal should always be to invest in our young people. I believe it doesn’t just start and stop and home. We, as adults have to gain the desire to make a greater impact on our future, the youth.
Here’s 5 quick tips for motivating and making a difference in a young person’s life:
1. Get to Know Our Youth
This is the first step to being in a position to impact them. We have to start with relation in order to build a relationship. If we can’t find ways to relate and hold conversations, we will never be able to make a difference.
2. Become More Transparent
Truth be told, kids these days are extremely smart and they can tell when you’re lying to them or when you don’t have their best interests. They’re very in touch with reality and they want to be respected. This step is essential for building trust. If they don’t trust you, they won’t be too interested in learning from you.
3. Teach Them New Things
Grabbing their attention and keeping it is important when working to build that relationship. They get bored easy with typical routine and as the social media challenges make it clear, adventure and spontaneous acts keep them busy when there’s “nothing to do.” This means we have to keep a few tricks up our sleeves to keep things live. Show them out, somewhere they’ve never been— not just out to the movies, show them some exciting things that happen in your productive lifestyle.
4. Be Available
Whether physically or virtually, be available for casual conversation whenever necessary. Let them know, no matter what, if they need to talk you will be there. Learn to listen to their stories and try your best to understand where they’re coming from. Empathize and be sure to give them an encouraging word. Many times they’ll leave details out of the conversation simply because you’re the adult but either way, always try your best to hear them out.
5. Be The Example They Need to See
Be great. Strive as a person. Work hard and don’t let up. They are watching your every move whether you’re chasing your dreams or on the couch every day. Get moving. Get busy and stay busy. Show them exactly what you mean when you say what you say. If you tell them to work hard, lead by an example. If you tell them to think before the act, lead by example. If they get angry at you, disrespect you, talk about you, don’t stoop to their level. Forgive them let them know you love them but stay at peace; for you truly are the example that they need to see.
Kids and young people follow what they see and the sooner we can begin to understand them and impact them, the sooner we will see a positive change in them. Always remember, you were once young as well, you made mistakes, you weren’t perfect but guess what? You were worth it and they are too.