This week’s Youth Asset highlight, courtesy of Positive Youth Development Erie’s 40 Developmental Assets is HAVING HIGH EXPECTATIONS. 

Having excessive expectations for youth may not be healthy but high expectations combined with supportive conversations helps young people reach their potential!

What are your hopes and dreams? Do you want to win a contest, finish a degree, learn a new skill or sign a record deal? By showing they believe in young people, any caring adult can inspire youth to reach their potential.  Express expectations as HOPE that youth will succeed. Offer encouragement, but don’t pressure. Research shows that youth whose adult mentors express high hopes for them try harder, have higher self-esteem and believe in themselves. Remember to communicate that no one succeeds at everything they try, especially the first time around.

Talk to youth about their goals and aspirations. Discuss plans for achieving those goals, and give praise when due. What did you learn from your mistakes? What can youth learn?