Dr. Rich Patterson

Adding Value to Youth

I’ve been writing about depression in kids and would like to finish this series with an approach to how we can pull kids out of their depression.  I have found over the years, when I feel overwhelmed, overburdened, and just in general unmotivated, that when I reach out to others, I begin to feel much better.  Today I am encouraging you to help kids reach out and help others.  I was recently in a restaurant in the mountains, and our young waitress introduced herself and told my wife and me a bit about how she was from a small town.  That she had lived in a very rural setting, not even a small town, come to find out.

She told me about what she liked to do, like hunting, riding horses, fishing, hiking, AT Ving, and the like.  I told her, “hold on to that,” that they would serve her well for a very long time.  She expressed through the facial expressions that she wasn’t sure if she could find a way to continue those interests.

I described what I thought might be her ideal mate in a few minutes.  She said, “Ha” in a forceful manner.  I told her to believe that she would find someone just like she wanted and that, by the way, why couldn’t he also be wealthy?  Again she laughed a bit, and I said, believe it.  She said, “OK.”  Like she was ready to take hold of this.  We talked a bit more about holding on to our dreams and making them come true, and then she went about her work as a waitress.

When we finished our meal and got ready to leave, she said to me, “Thank you for talking with me.”  Wow, I was so surprised, it seemed barely more than a casual conversation, yet it had resonated with her so much that she felt encouraged and helped.  It is those little moments when we take just a bit of time to ask our youth a question, to help tweak their thoughts, give them an encouraging word that makes a difference.

When our young waitress said, “Ha” to me, it was as if she didn’t believe that any of her dreams were possible, yet in just a few moments, she felt re-directed, convinced that she could do just that.

We must be careful what we say to others to encourage them because they are already struggling, much like the rest of us.  Except our youth are already pretty fragile.  They have many more bombardments in their life.  With social media concerns, television news, the state of affairs in our world, whether it be politics, environment, cost of living, cost of college, housing, you name it.  The list is long, and by helping them to believe in what they already want to think in, we encourage them to move forward with a bit more confidence.

Click here to read about Adding Value to others, Adding Value to Others – Dr. Rich Patterson (

My Mentor, John C. Maxwell, has a post on How to Add Value to Others Intentionally; click here, HOW TO INTENTIONALLY ADD VALUE TO OTHERS THIS CHRISTMAS – John Maxwell.

Take a moment to help one of our kids, even if just for a few moments.

Yours for Better Parenting,