Stop Attacking Youth!

Another day, another article slamming young people for not being activists. This one comes from the Left, effectively making its author a fremeny to youth activists today. (He joins these hallowed ranks with Todd Gitlin, among others.) This well-meaning, but poorly informed narrative generally leaves readers with the following points: There isn’t any/enough youth activismContinue reading “Stop Attacking Youth!”

Recognizing Systems of Adultism

It is important to look beyond individual ways that people discriminate and are discriminated against to see that there are systems that define, support, promote, and sustain adultism. Everyone is affected by systems of adultism. The ways that adultism surfaces are so broad that it can feel overwhelming to try to name them. Systems of adultism stack up andContinue reading “Recognizing Systems of Adultism”

New Approaches to Youth Action

In my own restlessness, I find myself craving something different these days.  I’m increasingly dissatisfied with isolated experiences of “youth-led” activity that is seeded and driven by adults. I have come to see that the majority of this work is largely disingenuous and ultimately incapacitating for the young people who participate in these activities. IContinue reading “New Approaches to Youth Action”

Accidentally Undermining Young People

As adults who care about young people, we’ve heard it all over the place: Children and youth are resilient. Lucky for them, because most of us are undermining young people accidentally.  It’s hard for us to acknowledge this though. We think that all our well-meaning gestures and activities, plans and proceeds are benefiting them, no matterContinue reading “Accidentally Undermining Young People”

Hostile Adults Are Undermining Young People

Adults have been hostile to kids for a long time. When it comes to undermining young people, I have grouped adults into three main categories: well-meaning adults, indifferent adults, and hostile adults. This is about hostile adults. Hostile adults don’t like young people. They are genuinely and overtly determined to maintain over-controlling relationships with childrenContinue reading “Hostile Adults Are Undermining Young People”

Well-Meaning Adults Are Undermining Young People

Things dropped by well-meaning adults still do what?!? There are several ways that adults undermine young people. I have grouped them into three main categories: well-meaning adults, indifferent adults, and hostile adults. This post is exploring the first category, well-meaning adults. They are determined to “help kids”, and can often be identified as progressive teachers,Continue reading “Well-Meaning Adults Are Undermining Young People”

How to Start Engaging Children and Youth

As a seasoned youth worker, I have met my share of “good kids”. You know, the ones who were excited to do activities and eager to please adults? Generally, they are excited at the right times, attentive when they’re supposed to be, and friendly almost all the time. I was not one of those kidsContinue reading “How to Start Engaging Children and Youth”

Adultism is Tearing Nonprofits Apart!

Download the full version of this article here. As a consultant, I work with organizations that serve children and youth across the United States. I am regularly called in by local and national nonprofits, government agencies, foundations, and others to help figure out why their programs for young people are failing. Like an emergency roomContinue reading “Adultism is Tearing Nonprofits Apart!”

33 Steps to Youth Voice

Creativity, government, schools, empowerment, community development… As the banner of youth voice is unfurled around the world, we see more young people standing up in unprecedented numbers than ever before. They’re demanding what is rightfully theirs: High-quality living, hopeful lives, and democratic realities. We’re just see this movement emerge like never before, and must keepContinue reading “33 Steps to Youth Voice”

The Effects of Adultism on Morale

Over the last few days I’ve been writing about the effects of adultism on organizations and programs that intend of help children and youth. Here is another one. The Effects of Adultism on Morale Adultism lowers the expectations, abilities, and outcomes of organizations. Young people may be found doing more whispering than working, acting hostileContinue reading “The Effects of Adultism on Morale”