Why Tips Aren’t As Bad As You Think
How to Help the Youth Become Involved in Their Communities
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 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 not just “putting yourself in another’s shoes” or being a very good listener. It’s feeling the feelings of others. If your child just lost his cat, you don’t empathize by saying, “I understand.” To empathize is to grieve with him. If your teen is afraid of looking “uncool” when they volunteer, don’t simply accept it as “teens being teens.” Empathy takes decisive action: how can you make volunteering cool?
3. Set a positive 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 about mirror neurons and their impact on group behavior? Here’s the bottom line: don’t expect your children to do what you yourself couldn’t.
4. Appreciate their contributions.
Feeling invisible to you is an excellent way to quash 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 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 spend time with someone they like? To get some kind of points from their teacher? Each of those is 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.
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