The challenges faced by today’s youths are unique. They are growing up in a more connected world than ever before, but they also face increasing pressure to succeed. They are bombarded with messages about what they should look like, how they should behave, and what they should achieve. As a result, many youths feel lost and uncertain about their future.
Former Texas House Speaker, entrepreneur, and father Dennis Bonnen believes it is important to remember that youths are resilient and capable of overcoming challenges. By investing in today’s kids, we can help them develop into tomorrow’s leaders. In this article, we’ll dive into some of Speaker Bonnen’s tips for empowering today’s youths.
Understand the Challenges Youths Face Today
The first step in empowering youths is understanding their unique challenges. Only then can we begin to develop solutions that address their specific needs. Parents and mentors should openly discuss academic pressure, social media, and mental health so youths feel comfortable sharing their experiences and concerns.
Remember that not all youths face the same challenges, so creating a safe and supportive environment where they can openly share their experiences is vital. It’s also essential to provide resources and information about available support services.
Help Youths Develop Their Strengths
No question causes instant turmoil, like, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” It seems like such a simple question, yet it can be challenging to answer. Many youths feel pressure to choose a career path that will lead to success and financial stability. However, it’s crucial to encourage children to pursue their passions and develop their talents.
Helping youths identify their personal strengths is a key part of empowering them to be successful. Once they know what they’re good at, they can explore career options that align with their strengths and interests.
Encourage Youths to Get Involved in Their Community
When youths feel connected to their community, Dennis Bonnen believes they’re more likely to take pride in their surroundings and invest in their future. There are many ways for youths to get involved in their community, such as volunteering, participating in local events, or joining a youth group.
Encouraging youths to get involved in their community helps them develop a sense of ownership and responsibility. It also allows them to learn new skills and make lasting connections.
Teach Youths About Important Social Issues
Youth need to be informed about their world to be tomorrow’s leaders. They should be encouraged to learn about social issues to develop their own opinions and take action on the things that matter to them.
Some important social issues that youths should be aware of include racism, sexism, ableism, homophobia, and transphobia.
Teaching youths about intersectionality and the interconnectedness of social issues is also essential. For example, a black trans woman will simultaneously experience sexism, racism, and transphobia. Intersectional education can help reduce prejudices and discriminatory behaviors.
Promote Positive Self-Image and Body Image
The media often portrays an unrealistic standard of beauty, which can lead to low self-esteem and negative body image. Youths should be encouraged to love and accept themselves for who they are. This includes supporting their physical appearance, abilities, and unique qualities.
One way to promote positive self-image and body image is to provide positive representation in the media. Dennis Bonnen believes this can be done by featuring a diverse range of people in advertisements, movies, and TV shows. It’s also essential to avoid making negative comments about someone’s appearance.
Encouraging youths to develop a positive self-image is an important step in empowering them to be confident and thriving individuals.
Youths face many unique challenges today. However, they can overcome these challenges with the right support and become tomorrow’s leaders. We must encourage kids to share their experiences and concerns, develop their strengths, get involved in their community, and learn about important social issues. Additionally, we need to promote a positive self-image and body image. By doing so, we will help empower youths to be successful individuals who positively impact the world.