July 7, 2020

Help Your Youth Become

As children complete the elementary years, many parents ask, "What's next? The aim of life is growth and for children that means growing up. The aim of youth is to become. We want to lead, guide, and mentor them to become the person they are born to be. How do we help them become? The answers are not found in workbooks and in textbooks. This is a journey they must take on their own and there are no shortcuts.  However, we can guide and mentor them, and light the way, by our becoming! Here are ways th help them become.

6 Ways to Help Your Youth Become

Books

Books are gateways to becoming. Classics, autobiography, biography, history, and fiction can inform youth about human nature, help them see themself, more clearly, and help them become better able to lead. 

 US President Harry Truman once said, "Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers."  I feel differently. I feel that through reading good books, youth can lead them self on a better path, even if they are not in a position to lead others. But seriously, those who exhibit self-leadership make great leaders, and often become great leaders. Reading books are a key to helping youth become leaders.

Experiences

Youth need experiences to help them become.  Simulations, group experiences, hobbies,  mom schools, and independent scholar projects are but a few kinds of experiences that can help youth become.

Simulations are simulated experiences that help them gain understanding and confidence to become. Simulations can be as simple as mowing the lawn and doing yard care at home, until they are ready to do it for hire to the neighbors, or start a lawn business. Simulations can also be with other youths, such as doing a mock trial or mock congress. Participating in simulations can help youth become more confident in groups and how to navigate through a sea of diverse ideas.

Group Experiences can help youth become more confident with other people. These group experiences should not be limited to their age peers only. It is important to have group experiences with people of different ages, including adults. These group experiences can help youth become more confident within group settings and with people of varied ages.

Exploring places and ideas can help youth become broadened and more confident in the world.  

Hobbies can help youth become less stressed, more interesting, and could lead to ideas for entrepreneurship.  

Mom Schools are classes held by moms for their youths and other youths. These classes help a youth grow socially, expand their understanding, deepen their knowledge, and to become more confident. 

Independent scholar projects are projects youth do on their own. These projects are designed by them and take them deeper and broader into the knowledge and understanding of things that interest them. As a youth completes a scholar project, they become more capable, rounded, and confident as a young scholar. 

Conversations

Conversations are vital to help youth become. They need to learn the back and forth of respectful conversation. It is important to learn how to respectfully listen to other peoples's point of view. Also, youth need to learn to do so with an eye to understanding the other person and their views. It is through conversation youth become more mature in their thinking, develop more facility with expressing their ideas, and grow intellectually.

Book discussions help youth become more adept at conversation, help them broaden their understanding and deepen their knowledge.

Oral Defense is where youth present their ideas and they field questions and learn to think on their feet. The questions often help youth become by exploring their ideas in a deeper and more connected way.

Presentations are a form of conversation that often is one way, presenter and audience. But some of the best presentations are interactive, rather than just a lecture. When youths develop skill in presenting, they can become more concise and gain more confidence in their ideas.

A debrief is a discussion after an experience, where principles are connected to actions, conclusions are drawn, and principles learned are emphasized. Debriefs help youth become as they learn how to learn from experiences and other forms of conversation.

Observations

Observations help youth become deeper thinkers and become more aware. Youth can hone their observational skills through doing annotations, commonplace books, essays, experiments, research, and blogging.

Annotations are recording your explanations of observations, connections, and thoughts on books or articles a person is reading. Annotations can help our youth become deeper thinkers.

Commonplace books are a common place to put annotations of books being read, experiences, lectures attended, and observations. Keeping a Commonplace book can help youth become deeper thinkers and can help youth learn more.

Essays are a form of articulating a youth's observations. Writing an essay after can help youth become more exact and concise in sharing their observations.

Experiments are observations. When a youth takes anecdotal evidence and experiments on it, the experiment can help youth understand that their perception may or may not apply to others, or other situations. Experiments can help youth become clearer in observations, ask better questions, in making connections, and come to clearer in their conclusions.

Research is observation.  Youth learn to collect data, sift through the data for the most relevant, draw conclusions, and then repot on what they learned. Research can help youth become more critical in their thinking and more able to discern truth from error.

Blogging is a form of essays on line and are therefore observations as well. Blogging can help youth become more articulate in expressing their ideas and sharing them with others. Blogging often leads to interaction with the reader. These interactions can help youth become more polished as a writer.

Mentors

Mentors provide youth with an example, accountability to validate the youth, and guidance in the youth's path. By providing mentorship of youth, adults can help youth navigate the rough territory between youth and adulthood and become their better self. 

Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship can take many forms.  Creating a home business, experiencing internships, participating in campaigns, working for causes, and providing service are all part of entrepreneurship and can help youth become and be prepared to participate in the adult world with confidence.

 Creating a home business is entrepreneurship. This can help youth integrate social skills and the academic skills they have learned, making skills relevant and helping a youth become prepared for adult responsibilities. 

Internships are part of entrepreneurship and give youth opportunity to gain on the ground experience, outside the home, and can help them decide if this is really what they want to do. Internships can help a youth become more confident in their chosen field or cause.

Political campaigns and working for causes help youths explore ways to serve in society. They can give youth valuable experience working with people who are passionate about their cause. Through campaigning and working on causes, youth can become more adept at finding and using their voice.

Service is entrepreneurship too.  In combining abilities to meet the needs of someone else, youths serve others and develop character, empathy, and hone skills.   Participating in service or providing service can help youth become a more responsive, compassionate, and better prepared adult.

Helping youth become, goes beyond textbook learning and helps prepare youth for their place in adult life. Through using great books, experiences, conversations, observations, mentoring, and entrepreneurship, you can help your youth become ready for adulthood, ready to make good contributions to society, and can help them become a better person. 

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