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what kinds of things can a community do to protect and nurture its young people?

Young people increasingly appear to be at the mercy of outside forces (eg. social media) and the targets of exploitation (eg. drug and sex trade)by elements within society. How do we enable them to develop the awareness, skills and self image to navigate this period in their lives in safety and with an openness and willingness to partake in the greater world around them?

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    Jun 17 2013: I think that the education of children and young people in our society is one of the most important issues that must deal with the activities of a community. Not always properly take care of this, but we must remember that it is at stake the future, and much more. In my opinion, some of the things that we should particularly take care of the education of children, are:

    -Teach children to search for information that, at each time, they need, simplify it, rating it and to obtain their own conclusions.
    -Teach them to present these conclusions to others (parents, teachers, colleagues, etc.) clear, synthetic and orderly.
    -Teach them the value of physical exercise and sport, and loving Nature.
    -Teach them the value of reading and the pursuit of knowledge.
    -Teach respect for others, solidarity, teach them also to appreciate the beauty, peace, compassion, love for healthy life habits, and taking care of personal and collective health.
    -Teach them patience, hope, optimism.
    -Teach them the value of positive leisure and rest.
    - And teach them to do all this fun and making learning and the practice of wisdom rather serious but fun.
  • Jun 16 2013: 1. Provide structured and sheltered learning opportunities such as 4-H, Scouts, and sports.

    2. Look for learning and mentoring opportunities at work that might be shared with High school, college, or even new arrivals at work. Without looking for these opportunities, lessons learned will likely be lost. Telling someone what do do is not the same as showing someone, or letting them do it themselves under supervision.

    3. Before they become adults, see that they learn how to do physically hard work, high quality work, and complete the jobs they start to the greatest of their ability as part of normal everyday life. Notice special efforts, superior effort, and special projects,but do not create the expectation that doing what is expected of you is anything but normal behavior.

    4. Make sure that they have the knowledge required to enable them to take care of their own personal basic needs (grow or get & prepare food, clean clothes, take care of basic home repairs and maintenance, take care of basic car repairs, etc.) before they leave home. One of the best ways to do this is to include them in projects the parents or other family members do in each of these areas. Here you get 2 for 1, as hey get to share time with family at the same time.

    5. Teach them basic situational awareness behaviors, basic self-defense, basic first aid, basic government and citizenship responsibilities and how to avoid situations that might place them at personal risk.

    6. Teach them how to use the public transportation, how to get public services, and how and when to seek health care.

    7.See that long-term opportunities for the young, infrastructure, and environment are not sacrificed for short-term life style improvements for the current voting population. Do not push problems to the right!

    8. Show them the value and importance of proper adult social interaction.

    9. Show them how to be happy.

    10. Teach them the skills they will most likely will need to survive in the future.
    • Jun 16 2013: Robert,
      Thank you for your thoughtful reply. There is much to reflect upon here.
  • Jun 27 2013: Thanks everyone for the thoughtful comments. One of the things that stands out to me from your comments is the necessity for us as adults to teach/model the behaviour we want to see in our children. We cannot escape the conclusion that we must start with ourselves.
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    Jun 17 2013: well, certainly we have laws against using illegal drugs and doing sex trade, and police enforce these laws.

    I wonder if we can teach all young people to always exercise self-control. Maybe every country in the world where these things are illegal has young people in jail for breaking these laws, we certainly do here in the States.