How to Encourage the Youth to Serve in their Communities
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? Maybe not. 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 do you think would it feel if someone were to breathe down your neck each and every time you move? That’s exactly the way most teenagers feel. Adults usually get rather defensive when this point is mentioned, saying their kids must first act more responsibly before they will 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 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 with him. If your teen is afraid of looking “uncool” when they volunteer, don’t simply accept it as “teens being teens.” Empathy takes decisive action: how can you make volunteering cool?
3. Set a good example.
While children have never been great at listening to their parents and elders, but they have always unconsciously mimicked them. And there’s a biological explanation for 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 efforts.
Feeling like you don’t see them is a sure way to kill their motivation. After all, why do you have to contribute when you don’t feel like it will change something? This is why it’s vital to express to them that their work is making a significant 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 impress their parents? Is it to have an excuse to spend time with someone they like? To gain some kind of points for their grades? All of these are poor motivation. Explain to them how the youth’s service can bring great benefit to your community, and what can happen if they don’t show up. This is good motivation because a purpose in life is one of the most crucial factors of psychological as well as physical health. Proof is retiree volunteers living longer and less likely to be depressed than their stay-home counterparts.