What Kids Need: Useful Roles

Do you want to add value to a young person?  Give them a useful role in a community event, school event, or other such program or meeting.  Give a function to a young person that would typically go to an older adult.  First, you might be surprised at how well they can perform in that role, and second, their ideas will add a spark to the event, whether it be a program or a meeting.  Occasionally you see a young person serving on a board, such as a local Board of Education or another such opportunity, but it is rare.  I have been on community event committees where a young person serves, and they always add useful comments that make things better.  Comments that encourage adults to think just a little differently.

As the differences between generations become more and more apparent today, that viewpoint from a young person may be more valuable than ever.  Consider a small town committee that was grappling with the rejuvenation of their main street.  They had had a meeting after meeting, and nothing much had happened.  They decided to add a high school age youth to the committee, and she was able to turn around their ideas in a matter of minutes.  Her suggestion was to install some more appealing kids play areas in the city park, located near downtown.  Before long, there was funding, and many new opportunities for kids to be downtown playing in the park.  Along with the kids came adults and adults and kids went into the local businesses and spent money.

It was so successful that the city decided to add some other features to the park for older kids, such as a skateboard track with swoops and dips where kids could hang out and enjoy their time.  From this food, venues were added to the park and other features for older adults.  In a matter of a few years, the park became a central focus for events and fun for all ages.  The idea came from adding a young lady to the committee that had a little different viewpoint.

I challenge you to find useful roles for kids in your community, business, or committee.  You will find their ideas insightful, and you will be adding value to them, which in turn increases their resiliency.

Yours for Better Parenting,

Rich