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Think. Discuss. Act. Children

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Helping Young People Face Parental Demands And Expectations

To help youth workers identify the pressures affluent kids face-specifically, the demands of parents-and to learn how they deal with them.

Summary

Leader Preparation

Talk to some parents to get their perspective. Preview the video clips to familiarize yourself with the dialogue.

Group Building

The best way to initiate discussion is in small groups. Consider using a group activity, such as playing the game “Life” or “Risk,” to let kids prepare for the issue by looking at life in a non-threatening way.

Group Presentation

Begin with the game, to create a comfortable environment. Show the clips to see other kids and the pressures they face.

Group Discussion

  • What kinds of pressure did the kids in the movies face?
  • How do you see similar ways in which your parents treat you like the kids in the movies?
  • How does a parent calling you a “kid” or some other name make you feel?
  • How do the expectations of parents in the movies affect the kids?
  • How do you deal with these expectations and pressures?
  • What expectations do you think your parents have for you?
  • How do you think your parents see you or feel about you right now?

Wrap-Up

Remind the kids that their parents love them and want the best for them. Parents’ expectations are sometimes hard for kids to live up to, but in the end, their parents love them just as they are.

Evaluation and Follow-Up

Discussing the issues that face us is the first step toward healing. It is not the last. The discussion opens the door to continue to find and restore the hurts. Do not give the kids a quick fix.

Implications

  1. Parents and kids need to be open about what they are feeling. Discussing pressures should help to facilitate open and honest communication.
  2. Young people will begin to see how these pressures affect many other areas of their lives.
  3. Those working with youth need to understand the deeper issues involved with being an affluent youth.

Rodney Bohls
© 2017 CYS

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