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5 Reasons, 5 Benefits, 5 Ways

According to surveys conducted by Search Institute as many as 40 percent of young people today report that they feel lonely.  If we say relationships really matter, how do we make them a true priority for all young people to experience? How much do we invest in high-quality relationships in our families, schools, and youth programs?

WHY IS YOUTH DEVELOPMENT IMPORTANT?

Developmental relationships focus on elements of relationships that contribute to a young person’s growth, learning, and thriving. Research has documented the power of these relationships in young people’s lives building on a wide range of existing research by many scholars on the power of relationships.

It’s all about relationships, right?  At least, this is what we say.  Yet, according to Search Institute, a non-profit organization which conducts research and develops resources and practices to create supportive environments where young people can succeed, according to surveys conducted by Search Institute as many as 40 percent of young people today report that they feel lonely.  If we say relationships really matter, how do we make them a true priority for all young people to experience? How much do we invest in high-quality relationships in our families, schools, and youth programs?

According to researchers Li and Julian, there is growing evidence suggests that strategically and systematically investing in building developmental relationships can be catalytic for effective education, programs, and services for children, youth, and families. Here are a few reasons why we should all invest in the youth around us, whether they are you own children or the children of a neighbor down the street:

WHY SHOULD YOU INVEST IN YOUTH DEVELOPMENT?

5 Reasons to invest in Youth

  1. Investing in young people is good for business
  2. Equipping young people with new skills can make communities safer and healthier.
  3. Trained with the skills that augment their passion and interests, young people are powerful partners in solving problems, creating jobs, and leading change.

 

5 Benefits of Youth Development

  1. Social competencies:

Youth build social skills and learn how to interact in new settings, develop empathy for other perspectives, and build teamwork and a sense of responsibility.

  1. Self-confidence:

Youth recognize that they have knowledge and insight, which leads to a sense of personal efficacy.

  1. Identity exploration:

Youth take on new roles as researchers, evaluators, and action planners, broadening their perspectives as well as their sense of empowerment and possibilities.

  1. Civic competencies:

The experience of being heard and having one’s voice matter increases a sense of social responsibility and may lead to greater youth civic engagement.

  1. Social capital:

Youth build new relationships with peers and adults. These new connections can help with future opportunities (e.g., programs and employment). 

BE AN ASSET-BUILDER FOR THE YOUNG PEOPLE IN YOUR LIFE

THE  5 key areas of those relationships that help kids thrive.

  1. Express care – kids don’t care what you know until they know that you care
  2. Challenge growth – sometimes kids need love plus challenges
  3. Provide support – active engagement of young people to complete tasks and achieve goals
  4. Share power – helping kids know they have a voice and agency over what happens in their lives
  5. Expand possibilities – helping kids connect with other people and places that will expand their world.

Growing evidence suggests that strategically and systematically investing in building developmental relationships can be catalytic for effective education, programs, and services for children, youth, and families. Researchers Li and Julian wrote:

Organizations like LEAD Academy are committed to exploring practical solutions and strategies that work well with youth.  LEADA provides the where to start points for action, thehow will this workguidance and support, and the now whatsolutions to the yearning for youth success in schools, churches, families, and youth organizations.  LEADA is a leading training and consulting company dedicated to children and youth.

Dr. Sabrina Watson is the founder of Leadership Education and Development Academy LLC, an organization dedicated to helping entrepreneurs, educators and students and to grow personally and professionally through our proprietary and strategic processes.  Dr. Watson strives to empower entrepreneurs and youth leaders by providing educational training and other enriching opportunities that promote improved performance for professionals and positive development for youth. She works with educators, youth leaders, and parents to support them in their role of helping young people reach their full potential. As a former public-school teacher, she not only has extensive knowledge of evidence-based practices that support positive youth development, she also draws from her years of in-depth research and her discovery of the integral role that important non-parental adults play in the support and development of youth living in high-risk, adverse conditions.

Dr. Watson has earned her Bachelor of Science degree in psychology, her Masters degree in early childhood education and her doctorate in Human Services, specializing in Family Studies and Intervention Strategies. For more information on steps you or your organization can take to help the youth in your community, contact Dr. Watson at www.DrSabrinaWatson.com, or call her office at 1-800-559-8680 or email her at info@LEADA.company.