3 Tips to Connect with Youth
In this day and age, there are a lot of older adults and adults who work with youth who have trouble connecting with the youth of this age. There is a lot of concerns, controversy and complaining about two specific generations. These two generations are the Millennials and Generation Z.
I am a millennial. Even as a millennial, I have had my woes with connecting with younger millennials. I also have had hiccups with connecting with Generation Z. Those hiccups come from trying different ways to connect and reach young people. I have 3 tips to connect and build relationships with young people. So, if you know someone who needs this please share it.
1. Pick their brains
Often, older adults and adults who work with youth tend to jump to criticize and dictate to youth who are not our children. Yes, I know you may have grown up in an era where the community raised every child but for several reasons that are no longer the case. This entire era is based off trust and relationships, not position and authority.
Instead of barking out orders and correcting youth the moment you catch them doing something you don't agree with. What's worse is you talking about the youth behind their backs based off something you disagree with. Pull them aside and asking them, "Why did you do that or say that". What are you doing on your phone? What do you like so much about your phone? Can you show me how the app or game works? Learn about the world they are in. Pastor Andy Stanley said, "Don't criticize what you don't understand." Pick their brains by asking questions about the world they live in to get a better understanding.
2. Listen Listen Listen
This is simple. Find time to talk with young people. Listen to their goals, dreams, aspirations, and struggles. Listen to what the don't like and why they don't like it. Older adults are more experienced than youth, therefore, have some of the best life advice to offer. A lot of this great advice is not being passed down because older adults are disconnected from today's youth. Listening to our youth will help you reconnect and it will also build trust with the youth you are trying to reach.
3. Go to them
Youth are not going to run up to you and ask you to mentor them, give them advice and follow you just because you are older. As older adults and adults working with the youth we must go to them! That means you should be the first one to speak. You should be kindly approaching them. You should ask them to help you with something. You should constantly reach out to them. Yes, some youth will reject you or give you a stank look because they don't know you, trust you, or have a bad day! Maybe the last adult they trusted broke their heart, so this will take time and patience. So, don't be so quick to give up when a youth turns you away. Keep being nice, loving, kind, and respectful. They will come around if your motives are pure.
Wow, I have many more tips for you but that will be for another post. Please share, comment, and like. If you want me to write about something concerning youth or youth ministry please let me know.
Thank you for reading and I pray this added value.