Case Study: My Experience With Churches

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? Probably not. There are techniques to persuade them to move out of their self zones and grow concern for the world around them.

If you’re a parent, these steps can help you mold your teens into responsible and community-loving adults in the future:

1. Give them autonomy.

How would you feel if someone would always be breathing down your neck each time you move? That’s exactly how it is for most teenagers. 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 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.” To empathize is to grieve with him. If your teen is scared of looking “uncool” when volunteering, it shouldn’t be simply accepted as “teens being teens.” Empathy entails decisive action, like exploring ideas on how to make volunteering cool.

3. Be 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? Here’s the bottom line: don’t expect your children to do what you yourself couldn’t.

4. Appreciate their efforts.

Feeling like they’re invisible to you is a perfect way to douse their motivation. After all, why contribute you don’t feel like you’ve done a part? This is why it’s critical that you communicate to them that their work is highly valued. And you have to say it to each of them, and not merely address 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 increase 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.

Supporting reference: my blog