Kids are notorious for not taking an interest in things going on within the communities in which they live. Moreover, teenagers are so caught up in their own worlds most aren’t even aware of anything outside of their circles and interests. It can be a daunting task to convince younger generations to take initiative and get involved in their communities, but with the right leadership, it can be done. The biggest reason the youth of today refuses to take action pertains to the adults in charge of their lives. As long as children are treated like children, instead of respected members of the community, they aren’t likely to get involved. By following a few basic rules of thumb, you can lead our youth to greater aspirations when it comes to improving our communities.
Lead by Example
Children mimic what they see, instead of doing what they’re told. Being a positive role model is arguably the most important step of instilling positive qualities in younger folks. Setting a good example for teens to follow will make them feel like they, too, are responsible adults.
Give Them Freedom
When kids are given enough freedom and room to grow, they can blossom into actionable and functional adults. Providing guidance is important, but smothering anyone is detrimental to their development as people. In order to inspire action within a community, you should gently nudge teenagers in the right direction, giving them the power to choose to do the right thing, rather than breathing down their necks.
Try to understand a teenager’s perspective. We were all once that young when life was still fresh and new for the most part. Take yourself back there and put yourself in their size 7’s for a moment. Feeling misunderstood and alone, almost against the entire world, can be tough. Many teenagers feel this way, leading them to make some pretty questionable decisions that will greatly affect or damage them later in life. Take some time to talk with and understand today’s youth. Allow them a comfortable and safe place to reach out for help, if need be. Provide them with an outlet without judgment, whether they need to vent or express anything they might be feeling. Never put a teenager down, even if they might lack perspective in life.