Communities must value youth |

Communities must value youth

We talk a lot about community and being a part of a community

What does that mean to you?

Perhaps you refer to a neighborhood, your child’s school community or a community bound by the same faith or religion.

According to the Search Institute, it is important in the development of our children that they “perceive that adults in the community value youth.”

Whatever community you identify with, it is important that you as a parent ensure that such community values youth.

This can be done in a lot of different ways and probably feels a bit inherent because, as parents, we tend to immerse ourselves in our children’s lives.

But perhaps there are communities you are a part of that are tertiary to your children — your place of work, your spouse’s place of work, your yoga studio or softball team.

Do those communities value children and, more importantly, do they value being appropriate role models to children?

We all know that children are watching us with wide lenses.

They take in everything, they pay attention to more than we know or think they do.

Take stock of your communities and how they are involved and role model for youth — together, we can create communities that will help every child grow up to be healthy and successful!

— Lindsay Lofaro is assistant director of The Buddy Program. She can be reached at

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