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Teaching the Youth to Be Community-Oriented

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? Wrong. There are approaches to inspire them to go out of their self zones and develop concern for the world 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 feel if someone would always be breathing down your neck each time you move? That’s just how it feels for majority of teenagers. Adults usually get rather defensive when this point is mentioned, saying their kids must first act more responsibly before they will be given autonomy. Fact is, the opposite is true: how can a young person act more responsibly if he is never 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 beyond being a good listener or putting yourself in the other’s shoes.” It’s actually feeling what other is feeling. If your child just lost his cat, you don’t empathize by saying, “I understand.” 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 entails decisive action, like exploring ideas on how to make volunteering cool.

3. Set a positive example.

While children have never been great at listening to their parents and elders, but they have always unconsciously mimicked them. And the reason behind that is largely biological. 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 efforts.

Feeling invisible to you is an excellent way to quash their motivation. After all, why pitch in when you feel like nothing’s changed? That’s why you really have to communicate to them how their work is making a difference. And you have to say it to each of them, and not merely address a group.

5. Offer them a meaningful purpose.

Why do these young people need to do all of these? Is it to impress their parents? Is it to get a chance to be close to someone they like? To increase their grades? 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 more effective because a purpose in life is one of the most key factors that lead to psychological and even physical health. Proof to that is retiree volunteers being less likely to be depressed and having longer lives than others who prefer to stay home.