Saturday, November 9, 2013

Who am I? *we don't even know half the time*

Parental support can make youth or break youth in their quest to discover who they are. A lot of times parents panic when their children begin to show rebellious behavior (and understandably so, I'm not a parent but if my child started rebelling I would fear the effect that the behavior could  have on their future) and they then shut down the youth expressing a desire to figure out who they are, or who they want to become.

"To dismiss such experimentation and the anxieties associated with it as a mere "phase they'll get through," "raging hormones" or simply "rebelliousness" is to devalue the unique opening this developmental era represents." (Understanding Youth, Identity in Context p24)

When Mitch takes the situation with Julian (Julian is caught tagging a bathroom wall with spray paint) and he further investigates what could be driving Julian to engage in rebellious behavior, he is opening his ears to listen to youth, and to understand what is happening, rather than to chalk it up to Julian being a jerk, and having no respect for school property.

"The evidence in young lives of the search for something and somebody to be true to can be seen in a variety of pursuits more or less sanctioned by society." (Understanding Youth, Identity in Context p26)

There's a reason why extra curricular activities are proven to help keep youth out of trouble. This is because it gives youth a place to belong. These clubs, hobbies, or even extra time helping with homework can make all the difference because it can help youth find out who they are or who they would like to become. It is our opportunities as adults to guide youth into building who they are in a space where they are safe and valued.

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