The well-being of youth is everybody’s business.  

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Did you know that acknowledging effort is key to improving outcomes for youth? Yet, according to the PA Youth Survey, 57% of West Chester teens report that they do not feel recognized for hard work. 

Simple, but powerful, home-based strategies will set your child up for success.

4 small steps you can take right now
to improve resilience in youth.

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Small Steps
To build resilience in youth

1.

Know your role. 
Seventy-five percent of teens report parents are the leading influence on their decision making.

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HERE'S HOW:
  • Demonstrate a love of learning by trying something new.

  • Talk about how good you feel after working hard.

  • Model the behavior you wish to see in your child.

2.

Make it meaningful. 

Having work that is meaningful builds a sense of self-worth and inspires kids to want to do more
and be more involved.

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HERE'S HOW:
  • Give age appropriate chores. Use a chore chart for consistency. 

  • Speak up about kids' contributions and the value of the work they do at home or school.

  • Consider a child's interests when assigning tasks or recommending volunteer options.

3.

Praise effort over outcomes. 

While there's good reason to recognize success, commenting often on effort instead of talent has more far reaching effects.  It also builds "grit" to help youth bounce back after adversity. 

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HERE'S HOW:
  • Comment on the effort that led to good grades, goals scored or goals achieved.

  • Admire youth's perseverance, dedication, and determination every time it's shown. 

4.

Forgive yourself (and your kids) easily.

There is no such thing as a perfect parent or a perfect family. Embrace your messiness and your kids will learn to embrace theirs.

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HERE'S HOW:
  • Acknowledge your mistakes aloud to remind kids that no one is perfect.

  • Let it go.  Help your kids see you move past your mistakes.

  • Celebrate what was learned when someone in your household "fails". 

When people compliment a child on the effort involved with an accomplishment, they learn to value the hard work of the journey.  
When children identify themselves as hard working, achievement follows. 

Remember:

  • You have more influence than you think.

  • Perfectionism is hard on self-esteem, yours and theirs.

  • Many things, like school and sports, have built in rewards for natural talent, but not effort.

  • Never miss an opportunity to encourage positive youth behavior. 

The rewards will be lifelong.

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