We all need support in life. And supporting youth is especially important as they go through the ups and downs of growing up.
Often young people turn to their parents and peers for support, but at other times they seek help from other adults in their life. So what’s the best way to support young people?
Let’s start off with a definition: “providing support” can mean different things, and sometimes it can look like expressing care.
For us, providing support focuses on the practical or noticeable things we do for young people: taking action and giving them helpful information and feedback.
Supporting youth helps them stay on track to learn, grow, complete tasks, and achieve goals. It involves four actions:
As young people grow up, their need for support doesn’t go away, but it does change. It’s sometimes tricky for them to find the right balance of getting support from others and being responsible on their own.
As important as support is, you can also overdo it. If adults do things for young people that take away their growth, autonomy, and learning (or don’t do enough to challenge growth), it hurts their development.
To learn what support is the right amount, ask young people these questions:
Here are some tips that will help you provide support to the young people in your life: