Rethinking Youth Empowerment

So many adults say they want to empower youth. When they say this to me, I’ve learned to simply hear them, because its usually those adults who most want to be empowered. So, before you strive to empower a young person, I want you to consider that you might want to be empowered yourself. RightContinue reading “Rethinking Youth Empowerment”

Radical Transparency with Children and Youth

How To Be Radically Transparent With Children and Youth Start when they’re young. While young people are still young, that’s the time to make be radically transparent with them. Having a transparent conversation with a 17 or 18 year old can be difficult, if only because they’re conditioned to accept adults obfuscating. By starting early,Continue reading “Radical Transparency with Children and Youth”

Silencing Youth

One of the ways adultism affects young people is through silencing. Silencing youth happens when adults take away the ability of young people to speak. This happens directly, such as when adults tell youth to be quiet or take away their instruments for communication. It also happens indirectly, like when youth are seeking adult approvalContinue reading “Silencing Youth”

Steal this Voice?

When people proclaim to want to hear others’ voices, they’re often assuming that those people don’t want to or are incapable of doing anything other than sharing their voice. This includes schools that want to hear parents’ voices, youth-serving organizations that want to listen to youth voice, businesses that want customers to make token choices,Continue reading “Steal this Voice?”

Actively Not Knowing

There have been times in my life when I have actively sought to not know something. Working with young people to honor them as humans has been a great way to learn this humility. In our society adults constantly assert their knowingness over that of young people, especially in schools and youth programs. In youthContinue reading “Actively Not Knowing”

It Is Not Fear You Are Feeling

I have become severely disinterested in fear-based living. Fear-based learning, fear-based love, fear-based religion, fear-based friendships… There is a lot of discussion out there about how we are internally afraid of so much, and we need to address that and face it and become not afraid. That does not seem useful to me. Choosing FearContinue reading “It Is Not Fear You Are Feeling”