RANDY MCKAIN Program Director of Youth Ministry and ...
RANDY MCKAIN PROGRAM DIRECTOR OF YOUTH MINISTRY AND ADDICTIONS COUNSELING Oak Hills Christian College BUILDING POSITIVE RELATIONSHIPS WITH ADOLESCENTS Evergreen Annual Conference 2016
Why do think building positive relationships with adolescents is beneficial? Think with me for a moment: Who made a positive impact on you as an adolescent? What did they do that made such an impact? How did that impact you?
SOCIETAL IMPACTS ON ADOLESCENCE Until the late 1960s adult led organizations and structures were primarily focused on caring for the individual & corporate needs of adolescents. As society changed, adults began to look for their own safe place, emotional & relational needs. As a result, adults often had little energy to give or care for others. Adolescents often felt rejected by the adult world as
adults pursued their own needs - systematic abandonment began! This has created subculture of adolescents who are looking for guidance. What types of subcultures or cluster groups might we see in adolescents today? THE INTERNAL IMPACT No more Leave it to Beaver! As our culture appeared to disintegrate following many of the
events of the 60s, a new family imbalance occurred as women and men attempted to redefine their roles and relationships. The consequences of this affected children and adolescents to fend for themselves as parents sought to find their own way in life. EMERGENCE OF MIDADOLESCENCE In the past there were two stages of adolescence - early and late. As adolescence began to lengthen, studies began to focus on college-aged students, graduate students and young
adults as they emerged into adulthood. A new stage emerged midadolescence, which is an extension of adolescence. TWO SHIFTS OCCURRED First Shift: The definition of family changed from the long-held definition of two or more persons related by birth, marriage or adoption who reside in the same household to a free flowing, organic commitment between people who love each other.
Tufts University Study: Has defined family as those with whom one shares resources and values and to whom one has a longterm commitment. Second Shift: The divorce rate shifted: 2% in 1940 43% in 2002 Approximately 50% today Two parent households with married parents:
77% in 1980 67% in 2008 IMPLICATIONS OF THESE CHANGES The adolescent is left to discern how to handle the conflicting messages related to home, stable relationships, and internal security - - - all while trying to figure out how to survive a lengthened adolescence.
AND . . . The more we leave kids alone, dont engage, the more they circle around on the same adolescent logic, that has caused dangerous situations to escalate. (A Tribe Apart - Patricia Hersch) ABANDONMENT BY INTERNAL SYSTEMS Adolescents have lost the safe
relationships and intimate settings that served as the primary nurturing community for those traveling the path from child to adult. TWO ULTIMATE CONSEQUENCES One: The adolescent journey is lengthened because no one is available to help them move the developmental process along.
Many teens no longer have any realistic sense of what they are preparing for, or even that they are preparing for something. Two: Adolescents know that they are on their own. Adolescents have responded to abandonment by creating an underground society a subculture a world beneath.
No adults are allowed! How does this impact adolescent development? Is this effective? REASONS FOR THE WORLD BENEATH Adolescents believe that they have no choice, but to create their own world to survive, they need to bind together and burrow beneath the surface to create a safe place. Since adolescents sense an emotional and relational starvation,
they seek a home where they know they are welcome. Mid-adolescents have an ability to band together in a way that satisfies their longing to connect with others as they navigate adolescence. YET - ADOLESCENTS WANT ADULTS Mid-adolescents (high school) want significant relationships with adults who care about them. Yet, they have little trust because most adults have abandoned them.
If adults have abandoned them, they often run to their own kind and allow the group (cluster) to guide them. Beyond the perceived hostility that surrounds midadolescents is a fragile soul, hidden behind a sophisticated layer of defense and protection. Tiger McCluen of Youth Leadership in Minneapolis, MN says there are three things teens are looking for from an adult. To be known To be valued
To be loved POEM FROM A STUDENT You come into the world alone You go into the world alone, In life you have no friends. (Hurt 2.0 Chap Clark) THE SEARCH INSTITUTE
Defining Developmental Assets: Positive experiences, relationships, opportunities and personal qualities that young people need to grow up healthy, caring competent and responsible. THE POWER OF ASSETS TO PROMOTE 0-10 Assets 11-20 Assets 21-30 Assets
31-40 Assets 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20
10 0 Exhibits Leadership Maintains Good Health Values Diversity Succeeds in School
THE POWER OF ASSETS: BOOSTING STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT Students asset levels are twice as important in predicting academic achievement as demographic factors such as gender, family composition, socioeconomic status, or race/ethnicity. Source: INSIGHTS & EVIDENCE www.search-institute.org
Building relationships with young people is at least as successful in increasing their academic performance as any other single documented strategy. All adolescents, in all economic and social circumstances, need generous amounts of help, instruction, discipline, support and caring as they make their way from childhood through adolescence and into adulthood. From All Kids Are Our Kids, Peter L. Benson. Second Edition, 2006. Jossey-Bass.
SO, HOW DO TO HELP? Lets do some brainstorming! Go to Them PRACTICAL IDEAS TO ENCOURAGE ADOLESCENTS Dont be afraid to go to them on their turf. They may not come to
us. Attend school Activities and events (sports, plays, music, other) Get to know school personnel
If you have school aged children - Volunteer at school to build relationships and encourage adolescents Come and See Cards
Community events Notice Them Catch them being good and tell them! Newspapers look for articles and send them a copy Photographs send them photos via social media or even the
old fashioned way a letter Involving Students make them a part of the group, the leadership or find ways for the adolescent to contribute to the process Celebrate their Victories Made the school play Passed their drivers test
Braces off First job
Ball games Encourage them in their Losses Break up of a relationship Bad grades
Not making the team Social Media Contact Provide them with positive use of social media Create a Face Book page
Use twitter, Instagram, and other sources Sen them emails Send fun videos their way
Create a friendly conversation. So what do you talk about when you come face to face with an adolescent? S chool L ikes I nterests R ules & relationships Be real
We may need to model healthy adult character. Apologize when needed Know what you can do and what you cannot do.
Keep your promises and know what you can promise More is caught than taught Expect great things and help them enjoy the process
Ninety minutes that can make a difference in the life Of an adolescent 15 minutes: One telephone call, a text conversation, an email 15 minutes: Three notes of encouragement, 60 minutes: A personal visit with one or two students Personal Visitation with a Group of Adolescents
Teach students conversation skills. Teach the students to connect with each other Schedule a time to practice
Beware of contact with the opposite sex YOUR TURN! What have you found that works in connecting with an adolescent? There is no word in a teenagers vocabulary more enjoyed than the
sound of his or her name. (Mayo) Rules without relationships lead to rebellion. (McDowell) No one cares how much you
know, until they know how much you care. THE YACONELLI PRINCIPLE Something is better than nothing! Thanks for coming!
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