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SYLC Parent Resource: Developmental Needs of Youth

What do I need to know about youth? Keeping up-to-date on youth issues and trends can be a full time job.  Our goal in this sections to give you some of the basics in understanding young people—things to be aware of as you work with them, things to watch and listen for, things that are normal for this age group.  Knowing what to expect goes a ling way to making us feel comfortable with youth.  The following chard outlines the most important development needs of older adolescents (15-19).  Understanding each of the needs of youth helps us work more effectively with them.

Developmental Needs of Older Adolescents

  • Exploration and Experimentation:  opportunities to experiment with a wide array of behaviors, roles, attitudes, relationships, ideas, and activities as they develop their own identity and faith identity.

  • Adult Sexuality:  opportunities to understand their sexual growth and integrate their sexuality into their personalities in a holistic way; opportunities to develop healthy values and attitudes regarding their own sexuality.

  • Interpersonal Relationship:  opportunities to form positive relationships and experiences with peers in a comfortable and secure environment and to develop friendship making skills and the skills for maintaining friendships.

  • Meaningful Roles in the Community and Society:  opportunities to participate as full members and leasers in the community, society, and church; opportunities for service – locally and globally.

  • Preparing for the Future:  opportunities to acquire the competencies necessary for adult roles, such as goal setting, problem solving, time management, and decision making; opportunities to explore life options and plan their futures (education, career) and to help them acquire the skills, knowledge, and experience for their chosen field.

  • Personal Value System and Decision-Making Skills:  opportunities to discuss conflicting values and formulate their own value system; opportunities to gain knowledge and experience in making decisions and to apply Christian moral values in making moral judgments.

  • Personal Faith:  opportunities to explore and question the faith they have been given by their family and the faith community and develop their own faith identity; opportunities to explore what it means to be a and live as a person of faith today and develop of more personal relation ship with Jesus Christ.

  • Adult Mentors:  opportunities to develop relationships with adult Christians who affirm their journey and struggles, explore sensitive issues with them, listen to their stores and questions, share their own faith journey, and ask questions that encourage critical thing and reflection.


25 Guidelines for Good Communication

Let’s start with the basics – good communication is at the heart of effective parenting.  Here are 25 guidelines that capture the essence of effective communication.

Be Committed

1.  We must be committed to communication.

2.  We must be convinced that we are a gift to be given, and that through their self-disclosure others are a gift offered to us.

3.  We must be determined t be honest with ourselves.

The Successful Practice of Sharing Oneself (Speaking)

4.  In sharing ourselves with others, we must always take full responsibility for our own actions and reactions.  As a consequence of this, we will make “I statements,” not “ Your statements.”

5. We must speak only for ourselves.  In communication I should make it clear that I am speaking only my truth, and not the truth.

6.  We must share all our significant feelings with those to whom we are relating.

7.  We must be courageous enough to share our personal vulnerability with one another.

8.  We should express gratitude to our listeners.

The Successful Practice of Accepting the Sharing of Another (Listening)

9.  We should be “present and ” available” to others who offer to share themselves with us.

10.  We should accept others wherever they are.

11.  We must listen attentively to learn the “inner consistency” of others.

12.  We must not indulge in mind games by judging the intentions and motives o others.

13.  We should register emphatic and reassuring reactions to others when they are sharing themselves with us.

14.  We should clarify the message that is being delivered, trying always to understand accurately the meaning if others.

15.  In the role of listener we should offer only suggestions and never directions.

16.  As listeners we should avoid all blocks to communication.

17.  We should explicitly thank those who have shared themselves with us.

General Practices that Promote Good Interpersonal Communication

18.  Good communication requires that the communicators spend special or quality time together.

19.  Touching is an important form of communication.

20.  To become more effective communicators we must “stretch” beyond our “comfort zones.”

21.  We must be ready to apologize when an apology is appropriate and helpful.

22.  We must avoid a buildup of tension.

23. At times of crisis in communication we will need to use special approaches.

24.  Whether speaking or listening, the motive of the good communicator must always be love.

25.  We should pray for the enlightenment and the courage to communicate well.