It has been noted in countless studies that human beings need support systems. This is especially true for teenagers. With all the difficulties that accompany being a teenager, having a strong sense of community can help with the following issues.
Less Likely to be Destructive
Many people associate the teenage years with acts of rebellion and destruction. It’s true that teenagers can go through troublesome streaks during this time. However, a big part of it stems from not having a strong support system or feeling like they can’t talk about their problems with their parents or family. Teenagers may turn to destruction in order to receive attention from their parents or authority figures.
There are a lot of stressors that come up when you’re a teenager, and without knowing how to deal with them, destruction is a common outcome. If your teen has a community behind them, they have the resources to discuss their issues and feel understood.
Help With Issues
There is also a more proactive approach that communities take in order to help teenagers through the issues they face. Besides just preventing destructive acts, having a community also gives teenagers a space to resolve their issues and work through them in a healthy way.
Between school, work, dating, and planning for the future, teenagers find themselves making a lot of important decisions and dealing with serious dilemmas for perhaps the first time in their lives. Community gives them a place to seek guidance from those who have been through similar things. Whether your teenager is struggling with a certain subject in school, a relationship, or any other issue, their community can help them through it.
Boost Self Confidence
Teenage years are also a time that is riddled with self-confidence issues. Teenagers are constantly bombarded with media telling them that they aren’t worth loving. Whether it’s because of their size, their sexuality, their grades, or something else entirely, it’s easy for teenagers to develop a less-than-stellar view of themselves. Having a group of people consistently reminding them that they are valuable and worthwhile boosts their confidence and helps them avoid negative self-talk.
Teenagers go through a lot of difficulties during their teenage years. Having a community behind them helps them feel more supported and work through these difficulties in a healthy, productive way. And never forget the role that you play in your teenager’s life: Help your teen feel more supported by allowing them to open up to you without fear of judgment.
New Pathways for Youth is an organization that gives teenagers the community support that they so desperately need. Click here to learn more about this organization’s approach to mentoring teens.