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Motivating Young People

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The Impact of Cheering on Young People

The many pressures and expectations being faced by young people today makes it harder than ever before for them to find motivation, according to Brett Ryan from Focus on the Family.

Whether the pressures from the people around them, their social media feeds, or self imposed, the fast paced nature of modern life juxtaposed with the slower pace of emotional, physical, social and spiritual development can impact a young person's desire to reach their potential.

Joining Brett Ryan on this Helping Hands panel discussion about young people is Jon Owen, from Wayside Chapel; and Emmylou Brasser, from the Salvation Army’s Oasis Youth Services; to explore the ways in which adults can help young people to overcome their challenges and find motivation.

“Purpose is the seed that drives motivation,” Jon begins.

Inspired by his experience as a parent and through his work at Wayside Chapel, Jon says motivation stems from knowing one’s place in the world – and that's a constant that hasn’t changed.

Even though the pressures young people face today are different to previous generations, love and support is the key.

“One of our core philosophies at Wayside Chapel is to say, No one is a problem to be solved, they’re a person to be met, and if people can feel met rather than worked on, they’ll often find that they are amongst a community …  all of a sudden, they can find that sense of meaning and purpose, and a lot of intrinsic motivation just flows quite naturally.”

Working with young people who are carrying the burden of family breakdown, neglect and abuse, Emmylou says the first step to helping find motivation is to break the negative cycles, and second, to show them that they have someone in their corner, cheering them on, celebrating even the smallest of victories as significant steps in the right direction.

“It’s really giving them the voice and the driver’s seat for getting to the future that they picture for themselves – not putting any kind of expectations on them until they’re ready to achieve those goals how they see themselves doing it.”

This is true for all young people, Brett adds, regardless of their individual circumstances. Knowing that someone else believes in them is a wonderful motivator.

“Having a significant adult speak into their lives, like a mentor or a coach – someone to actually say, ‘You matter, you’re really important,’ – that is just an incredible thing, a gift. And I think we all need to have people to be our cheer squad.”


See the MOTIVATING YOUNG PEOPLE discussion and the full catalogue of Helping Hands panels at Catch up on full episodes of Helping Hands on 9NOW.


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