Top 10 Tips for Connecting with Young People

Top 10 Tips for Connecting with Young People

  1. Say hello and smile. Many young people are used to being ignored by adults - surprise them by standing out from the crowd!
  2. Ask them their names. Watch a young person's face light up when you show enough interest to want to know who he or she is.
  3. Be yourself. Young people will respond to you better if they sense you are being genuine.
  4. Ask them about things that are of interest to them. Nothing will help trigger conversation more than your questions about something a young person is interested in.
  5. Simply listening will give you ideas of what to talk about. Once the subject is apparent, make positive comments about their interests or abilities.
  6. Follow up your initial questions with questions or observations that show you're listening. If a young person talks about being into skateboarding, ask where his or her favourite skate park is.
  7. Never assume that the mind you're talking to is closed. Just because young people dress or act differently from you doesn't mean they're not taking in what you've said.
  8. Don't expect young people to reach out to you. Take the initiative as an adult to reach out to them.
  9. Draw from your own memories. Think back to someone who made a difference in your life and how she or he connected with you.
  10. Keep at it! Not every attempt to connect with young people will have immediate results, but remain earnest and speak from your heart.

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