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Teaching the Youth to Be Community-Oriented

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? 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 probably like it if someone were to always breathe down your neck whenever you move? That's exactly the way most teenagers feel. Most adults get quite defensive when this matter is brought up, saying their kids first become responsible before they can be granted 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 so much more than simply putting yourself in the other person's shoes or being a very comforting listener. It's feeling the feelings of others. 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 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 like you don't see them is a sure way to kill their motivation. After all, why contribute you don't feel like you've done a part? 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 do these teens have to do all these things? 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? All of these are poor motivation. Try explaining to them how the youth's service can contribute to the overall good of your community, and what the possibilities are 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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