It is an asset for adolescents to have positive relationships with three or more adults who are not their parents. As a parent, it’s not too late to identify a caring adult outside your family who can take some pressure off of you during those turbulent teen years. Do you know someone who could be a mentor for your teen? Someone who shares their passion? A teacher or instructor? An employer? An older coworker?
As a caring adult, here are a few ways you can connect with a teenager in order to be a positive force in his or her life.
- Swap CDs or mp3 players with a teenager. Listen to each other’s music (together, if you can) and discuss it.
- Invite a young friend to help you till, plant, and tend a garden patch or create a container garden with potted plants.
- Find a gourmet goody buddy! Bake cookies and other treats with a young person as a way to spend time together.
- Send cards or other messages to the teens in your life to mark birthdays or holidays and to celebrate their successes and milestones.
RECOMMENDED READING: Connect 5: Finding the Caring Adults You May Not Realize Your Teen Needs by Kathleen Kimball-Baker
Search Institute has identified 40 building blocks of healthy development, known as Developmental Assets, that help adolescents to grow up healthy, caring, and responsible. Visit us here every Wednesday to read about different ways that you, your family, and your community can take action to help equip our young people develop resilience and achieve success in life.