How to Encourage the Youth to Serve in their Communities
Parents usually cannot even make their children clean up their rooms, so it’s impossible to encourage teenagers to abandon their computers and work on an “impossible” challenge, 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 do you think would it feel if someone were to breathe down your neck each and every time you move? That’s just how it feels for majority of teenagers. Adults can get quite defensive when this point is raised, saying their kids have to act more responsibly before they can 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 research has uncovered that as you trust someone more, he is more likely to act the way 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 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 afraid of looking “uncool” when they volunteer, don’t simply accept it as “teens being teens.” Empathy requires decisive action, such as taking steps to 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 of mirror neurons and how they affect group behavior? Bottom line is, don’t demand from your teens what you won’t do yourself.
4. Appreciate their contributions.
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 it’s important to actually tell them individually rather than as a group.
5. Give them a meaningful purpose.
Why do these young people need to do all of these? Is it to make their parents happy? Is it to spend time with someone they like? To get some kind of points from their teacher? These are all 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 and less likely to be depressed than their stay-home counterparts.