How to Encourage the Youth to Serve 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? Maybe not. There are methods to influence them to stretch out of their self zones and have greater concern for the people 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 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 beyond being a good listener or putting yourself in the other’s shoes.” It’s actually feeling the emotions of the other. If your kid’s pet dog died, for example, empathizing is not saying, “I know how it feels.” Empathy is grieving with him. If your teen is hung up on looking “uncool” when volunteering, don’t dismiss it as “teens being teens.” Empathy entails decisive action, like exploring ideas on how to make volunteering cool.
3. Be a good example.
Kids have never been superb at listening to their parents, but they have always imitated them. And there’s a biological explanation for that. Ever heard of mirror neurons and how they affect 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 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 need to say it to them individually, not as a group.
5. Offer them a meaningful purpose.
Why should these teens do all of these things? Is it to make their parents happy? Is it to spend time with someone they like? To gain some kind of points for 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 definitely more effective because a purpose in life is one of the most vital factors that promote psychological and also 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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