Help Promote Ending Discrimination Against Young People!

You know I’m not the most famous person in the world, right?!? I don’t have a publicist, and I want people to get a hold of my newest book, Ending Discrimination Against Young People. I need your help! If you want to pitch in, you can help me by helping get the word out. The biggestContinue reading “Help Promote Ending Discrimination Against Young People!”

3 Secrets of Adults Who Help Youth

As teachers, youth workers, parents, counselors, and other adults who work with young people every single day, we have our secrets. They’re not true for every adult, and being able to admit them takes courage, especially when we admit them to other adults we work with. In my new book, Ending Discrimination Against Young People, IContinue reading “3 Secrets of Adults Who Help Youth”

An Imperative for Youth Empowerment

What is the missing element in almost all youth empowerment work today? It is an awareness of discrimination against young people. We don’t like to hear it, but EVERY adult discriminates. While an increasing amount of people are concerned about racism, sexism, classism, or homophobia, that’s not what I’m talking about here. Today, I wantContinue reading “An Imperative for Youth Empowerment”

Empowerment and Engagement

My friend Lori works with youth in the Midwest. She recently asked me, “In the scheme of things, how do we motivate the youth to be empowered rather than entitled?” Dangerously, I’ll suggest that motivation comes through our own experience and example more than anything else. We have to actively demonstrate to young people ourContinue reading “Empowerment and Engagement”

The Purpose of Learning

Revolution is not ‘showing’ life to people, but making them live. A revolutionary organization must always remember that its objective is not getting its adherents to listen to convincing talks by expert leaders, but getting them to speak for themselves, in order to achieve, or at least strive toward, an equal degree of participation. –Continue reading “The Purpose of Learning”

Youth Work on AutoPilot

Thinking can feel like a luxury. In times when we’re deep in the work we do and the ways we get it done, it can be nearly impossible to take care of ourselves. We are so busy meeting the needs of the kids, filling out forms for our bosses, or writing up the report forContinue reading “Youth Work on AutoPilot”

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”

Challenging Youth Gurus

They have become a staple of the world of afterschool programs and nonprofits: youth gurus. I’ve spent a few years traveling around the country teaching adults how to relate to children and youth, and a few more before that doing exactly that. Through reflection and relentless critical self-examination, I’ve arrived at a few trinkets ofContinue reading “Challenging Youth Gurus”

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”