Entitled youth of today?
A lot of people tell me that today’s kids are:
· Lack resilience
· Are socially inept and
· Suffer social anxiety
I understand why people feel this way as on the surface when you see a large group of students they appear to be more invested in their mobile phones than they are with their peers. It would be very easy to assume and judge that this is the standard behaviour of most of our kids today.
However, if you dig a little deeper, you will see what I see. I see young people who are still forming their understanding and experiences of the world that they live in. A world that we have essentially created for them. As part of this creation we have also seen the need to offer them opportunities to connect outside of the technological world. When given the opportunity, I see young people not only thrive in social situations, but become more resilient and less expecting of the things in their lives.
For example; attending school camps, being part of a team building day, or learning about one’s self and character through peer development programs are all excellent ways for young people to have the opportunity to learn and grow. These experiences allow and empower students to think, act and speak in a way that is different to their normal daily routine. Young people are intentionally made to work with others, be pushed outside of their comfort zones and challenged in the way that they do things. It is during these times that you see their true character present itself.
As adults in our society, we need to model true strength of character. We also need to be conscious of the inner child in us which will remind us of what it is that our youth may be going through.
The great privilege I have is to see the difference that many teachers make in building confidence, resilience and social skills in the youth of today. Many teachers build relationships by getting to know their students and their story. By doing this, it bridges the gap between youth and adults and teaches our youth how to act and grow into the adults of tomorrow.
I hear and see wonderful things about our youth and what’s happening inside and outside of our schools, but for the purpose of this blog I hope that it can reassure any doubt that some may have about the quality character in many of the youth that we work with. Youth need opportunity, like anyone, to show what they are truly capable of.
Damon Joseph and his team at Character Builders work with over 25,000 students across Australia every year. Damon’s passion for the health and wellbeing of today’s youth is evident through the recent extension of Character Builders into a new arm of the business – Character Care. Character Care is a vibrant mental health consultancy aspiring to build confidence, awareness and acceptance of one’s self. The one thing we should entitle our youth with is the opportunity to build their Character. Find out more about both Character Builders and Character Care here.
T: 1300 205 101
PO Box 1069 Tarragindi, QLD 4151