Only 21% of East Haddam kids feel that adults in the community value them.*
Parents Helping Youth (PHY) wants to increase that number and needs your help! Research shows that young people who have three or more caring adults besides their parents/guardians in their lives are happier and more hopeful, do better in school, and are less likely to engage in risky behavior. Together, we can easily show our youths that they do matter.
You’re busy and why should you bother? Because it’s the right thing to do, it’s easy and everyone has the capacity to make a difference. In fact, we bet you’re already doing it in your everyday lives.
This month, PHY challenges you to take a few moments to connect with a young person outside of your own family. Pay attention whenever you see a young person, at church, the library, or a school event. Below are some seemingly small gestures that over time create a sense of positive nurture in their lives.
- Learn their names and use it. While checking out at the grocery store, say thank you to the teen bagging your groceries. If you don’t know his/her name, look at their nametag.
- Ask them about themselves. You’re at the pharmacy and see a group of kids selling baked goods. You may not be interested in buying cookies, but you can stop by and say hello, ask about their group and perhaps donate a dollar to their cause.
- Include them in conversations. The car is a perfect place to engage in conversations. While carpooling to soccer, ask the kids in the car who their favorite teacher is. Tell them a story about your favorite.
- Share a meal together. Invite your child’s friend over for lunch or dinner. Engage them in the conversation at dinner. Ask them about their hobbies and interests.
“When you are living the best version of yourself, you inspire others to live the best versions of themselves.”─ Steve Maraboli, author and motivational speaker.
*The above statistic was obtained from the 2014 Developmental Assets Survey based on the responses of 500 Nathan Hale Ray High School and Middle School students.