The Role of Supportive Adults in Effective Youth Development

According to Healthy People 2020, youth development is a planned process of equipping the youth with relationships, experience and opportunities that enable them to become responsible adults—couldn’t have put it better.

While we continue to research effective approaches to youth development that help us make the world a better place for the leaders of tomorrow, realizing the importance of our role as supportive adults is as important.

Fostering supportive relationships, whether at home or school, is important for adolescent development and from a general perspective, in life.

Ensuring Physical And Psychological Safety

Both forms of safety are essential from birth. As adults, we should strive to maintain an environment that is free from bullying, crime and trauma, an environment that respects people’s dignity. This is the bedrock of exceptional youth development.

While physical safety is widely understood, psychological safety entails upholding the importance of confidentiality and creating a pleasant, accessible perception to help them reach out in times of need while being the perfect role models.

Promoting Supportive Relationships

As a social species, relationships matter for us throughout our lives. But they matter the most in developmental stages like adolescence. Coaches, mentors and peers all have primary responsibilities in ensuring that the youth grow to become responsible adults.

Since most youth look for support at home, parents have the most critical responsibility in shaping how their children perceive relationships. This is also the reasons why most urban youth development programs include dedicated tools and skills for parents to help them strengthen their relationships.

Creating Opportunities

Another basic human need that needs to be fulfilled for positive youth development is access to opportunities that make young individuals feel like they belong.

The sense of belonging can only be created if adult community members, present within the immediate surroundings actively promote leadership clubs, opportunities to train for jobs, and even job search programs. Creating such opportunities enforces one of the basics concepts of youth development i.e. development of personal identity.

This is just a fraction of all the ways that signify the importance of adults in youth engagement. Since adults are functioning members of the society, all of them are passive influences on the youth, particularly during adolescent stages.

Wondering what role you can play as an adult to influence positivity and leadership in the youth of today?

Explore the youth personality development programs and leadership development workshops available at Youth With A Future.

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