In my last post I reported on the Teen Voice 2010 Report from Search Institute and Best Buy. The report includes “10 Tips from Teens to Adults” based on interviews thirty 15 year-olds. This is from www.at15.com:
According to the Teen Voice 2010 findings, too many teens are missing the positive, sustained and meaningful teen-adult relationships they need to thrive. Helping youth find their sparks and voice is not an insurmountable challenge. In fact, individual caring adults—parents, teachers, neighbors, grandparents, mentors and coaches—can have a tremendous impact on the successful development of our nation’s youth by building positive relationships with teens. This starts when each of us takes the time and effort to re-examine the ways we can or could connect with, listen to and seek to nurture teens’ basic strengths.
What exactly should adults do to develop these relationships? Through in-depth interviews with 30 15-year-olds, we asked teens what adults did and didn’t do that told them that adults cared, were paying attention and really understood them. Here is what they had to say:
- LOOK AT US: Make eye contact.
- SPEND TIME TALKING WITH US: Ask open-ended questions. Build the conversation.
- LISTEN: Pay attention. Don’t multi-task or get distracted when you’re with us. Respond to our messages and texts.
- BE DEPENDABLE: Do what you say you’re going to do.
- SHOW APPRECIATION FOR WHAT WE DO: Give compliments. Show that you’re glad to see us or hear from us. Send us personalized cards.
- RELAX: Don’t feel like you have to be on guard.
- SHOW THAT YOU’RE INTERESTED: Attend our concerts, games and other events. Ask us to show you what we can do.
- LAUGH WITH US (AND AT YOURSELF): Laugh at our jokes. Show us your humor.
- ASK US TO HELP YOU: Ask us for our ideas. Share your own, too.
- CHALLENGE US: Teach us what you know. Push us to do our best.