How Adults Can Support Youth
When it comes to raising children, a lot of adults overlook how important support can be. Sometimes, all youth need is support during hard times. Or even when they’re trying something new. The best part about support is that you can do it, in many different ways.
Today’s youth have been proven to be natural leaders, motivational speakers, protest organizers, allies for one another, supporters, and teamworkers. Here are some ways you can support your youth.
1: Listening. Allowing your youth to talk to you about how they feel can be a great way to support them. Even sitting there, and listening to your youth go on and on about how they feel can be one of the best ways to support them. It’s critical that you don’t talk about your youth. Or downplay their emotions, as that can be a negative interaction to them. Along with encouraging them to use their voice, and express themselves.
2: Communication. Communicate to your youth that you are open and willing to help. Offer you help and support to them. Ask them ways you can help them. Along with what can make them feel better, or what is something that might help them feel more comfortable. Advocate for youth, by networking with other adults to try and spread the word. Share social media posts of youth speaking up about issues that are essential to them.
3: Understanding. Support and understanding go hand and hand. Understand youth, and where they’re coming from is so vital. Completely understanding youth, may also help adults be able to give out appropriate advice. This also helps adults create safe places for youth to speak freely. This will create a safe place for youth to feel comfortable, to make mistakes, learn, and grow. Also creating open dialogue, for sensitive topics to be spoken about freely.
4: Support. I mentioned earlier that support can look different to many people. It can also come out in many ways. For example, you can support your youth by being there physically. You can help your youth with transportation. Asking them and helping them get to places that they need to be. Or time management, helping your youth schedule dates and times for them to go somewhere.Along with communicating and asking them what works with them. Participating with your youth to further understand youth culture can also be a good way to support them.
5: Realistic: Being honest and realistic with your youth in an appropriate way can also be helpful towards them. Providing them with the reality of their advocacy and how other people may receive that. It can help prepare your youth for feedback by others that might not be taken well. With opinions, comes others and their opinions. Not everyone will have positive options towards your youth and their cause.
With all the ways to support youths in today’s time. Throughout all of them it’s so important to include them, listen to them, and support them and their ideas. Nothing can completely change today and its climate. But a start is allowing each other to be open with our ideas and opinions.
- Kate – SYC Peer Specialist Intern
Learn more: Advocates for Youth Article – Building Effective Youth-Adult Partnerships