This April’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) campaign proclaims it’s time to talk about supporting young people. It’s been said, many times, youth are the future. If our goal is for a healthy future for all, we need to talk about meeting the needs and engaging the skills of teens. This campaign encourages adults to take a strengths-based approach to engaging with young people. Here are 5 ways your voice can play a role in creating a healthy future.
A positive perspective is the best tool for partnering with young people. To connect with young people, it’s imperative to let go of negativity and unlearn stereotypes about teens. Use your voice to proclaim a healthy future for all.
Break out of the box
Every age, stage and teen is unique. All adults can benefit from understanding adolescent development. Learn the basics of adolescent development and understand the context of teen behavior.
Educate & empower
All adults can be an ally to the young people in their life. Being an ally means challenging adultism and any attitudes and assumptions that devalue the experiences and lives of youth. Youth are leaders with tremendous skills and valuable life experience.
Meaningful engagement of young people starts with youth. If you are looking to be relevant to young people, then you need to hear from young people. Engaging youth starts when we see and hear the needs and strengths of young people.
Open up a dialogue about healthy sexuality, and be an askable adult to the young people in your life. Provide age-appropriate, accurate information to young people. Model respectful communication and healthy behaviors. Remember you don't need all the answers to start the conversation.
Young people are a vital part of our movement to create social change. You can use your voice to support young people and promote healthy sexuality. How will you be an ally?