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Helping Teens Connect With Their Community

Teens can—and do!—improve the communities they live in.  While families provide the love and support needed for teens to become more independent, teens active in their community will:

  • Do better in school.
  • Find it easier to stay out of trouble.
  • Be less likely to become depressed or suicidal.

Why Should Teens Be Involved In Their Community?

  • Participating in community activities gives more opportunities to become an independent and successful adult.
  • It provides a group of friends who can help a teen learn more about themself and his taents and help him make better decisions.
  • By connecting with the community, a teen is never alone. He has a place to go and people to talk with when he needs it.
  • The more a teen helps others, the better he feels and the more likely that someone will be there for him.

How Your Teen Can Make Community Connections

Helping Others

  • Ask about service projects. Check with your child's school or where you worship about volunteering at homeless shelters, soup kitchens, nursing homes, or child care centers.
  • Get involved in a political campaign.
  • Tutor children at the library or become a coach.
  • Help clean up the neighborhood.

Doing What They Love

  • Encourage your teen to try different things until he discovers his passion. Art, music, writing, drama, or sports are just some examples.

Keeping in Touch with Family Members

  • Teach your teen about her  family—both near and far. Get her to ask about family stories and history. Get in touch with family your teen has not met or has not seen for a while or plan a family reunion.

Getting to Know Neighbors

  • Have your teen talk with people who have different cultural backgrounds, religious or spiritual beliefs, and political values.

Nobody Succeeds Alone— Everyone Needs Help

There are many people in your community who can help your child succeed.

  • A teacher, coach, or counselor at school can help point your child in the right direction.
  • A neighbor, relative, friend’s parent, or your boss can give your child the advice he need to make decisions.
  • A spiritual leader or an adult at an after-school activity or club can help your child through a hard time.

Remember, being involved in the community will help your child become independent, develop new skills, and help others.

Last Updated
Connected Kids: Safe, Strong, Secure (Copyright © 2006 American Academy of Pediatrics)
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.
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