Society changes for a lot of reasons, and the outcomes of those changes. Family structures have been better and worse, good and bad and otherwise. Youth, parents, parenting and families are real issues that intermingle and relate to each other. Young people change the world in positive, fair and healthy ways when they understand parents, parenting and family for themselves.
Ways Youth Engagement in Parenting and Families Happens
Positive Parenting — Learning what parenting is, what it is not, why it matters and how it can be successful is a powerful tool for young parents. When this education is focused on positive parenting practices, including teaching children, engaging families and transforming communities, young parents can change the world.
Youth as Parenting Educators — Engaging young parents as educators can be an effective, engaging way to change the world. Young parent teachers can speak practically to the realities, challenges and opportunities that exist for other young parents.
Youth/Parent Partnerships — Traditional family relationships are hierarchical, with subvert and explicit suggestions that parents always know best and children should always be subservient. Youth/parent partnerships allow for trust, communication, meaningful involvement and real investment to be at the forefront of households, allowing for transformative relationships between parents and their offspring.
Needs for Youth Engagement in Parenting and Families
Inspiration — Young parents and youth in general can benefit from honest, open inspiration that means to motivate them to action to change the world. Stories, incentives and cultures that engage these young people can be the most inspirational tools, but there are many other ways to inspire, too.
Mentoring — Creating healthy, engaging relationships among young parents and older parents can foster healthy communities, empowered children and meaningful opportunities for everyone involved to affect one another.
Education — Creating real opportunities for young people to learn about parenting and their parents through education can transform communities and change the world in countless ways. Children and youth can learn how economics, education, social class, healthcare and other affects on families, and how social change can benefit everyone.
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Other tools are out there, too – share your thoughts in the comments below! For more information about how The Freechild Project can support youth engagement with parents and parenting in your community or organization, contact us.