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All Ages

Simple Things You Can Do

Telling and showing a young person you accept and value them for who they are helps them to feel good about themselves.  Young people’s self-esteem increases when they feel loved, respected and accepted, listened to, and taken seriously.  Let them know they matter and are an important part of your life.

Let the children and young people in your life know that you see them, appreciate them, and are proud of them.

Show Kids They Matter

We want every Suburban Ramsey County adult to do at least one thing to show at least one of our kids they matter.  What will you do? 

Most adults agree it is important for adults to show kids they matter.   Often, though, we don’t know how to get started or we worry that we don’t have the time or we wonder whether kids are even interested in having us reach out to them.  

Forty percent of Suburban Ramsey County young people we surveyed said they wished they had more adults in their life they could turn to. 

Appropriate Boundaries with Kids

One of the best ways to help young people grow up to make healthy choices is for them to have caring adults in their lives who model healthy lifestyles and choices.  And yet, recent media reports1 suggest that some adults, especially men, are completely avoiding kids because they are worried about being perceived as interested in children for the wrong reasons or falsely accused of inappropriate behavior with kids. 

Asking for Help as a Parent

Parenting doesn’t have to be a “do-it-yourself” proposition.  In the “Building Strong Families” study, parents told the Search Institute that these things would help them as parents:  being affirmed for their parenting; having opportunities to talk with other parents; and having other trusted adults spend more with their children. 

If you are interested in encouraging trusted adults to be involved in your child's life, consider trying some of these suggestions: 

At Least Five

Research shows that the #1 way to “protect” kids is to make sure they are connected to adults in a variety of settings—at home, at school, and in the community.  Kids need multiple connections.  Youth who are “involved” with their school, their academics, their after school programs, and the larger community are less likely to participate in risk-taking behaviors.  Research shows that even one caring adult can change the trajectory of a child’s life.  Kids who are connected to at least three adults (besides parents or guardians) do better than kids who are connected to f

Spotting Kids at Risk

Children grow up in families, neighborhoods, schools, and other places where they spend time.  It can be hard to know which kids have a lot of risk factors and which kids have fewer.  We do know that kids who are “connected”, to their families, to their school, and to their community, tend to have higher levels of protection and therefore do better including participating in fewer risk taking activities like early alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use. 

With this in mind, think of the children and young people you know and ask:

Which Kids Will You Connect To?

Start building intentional relationships with children you already know.  Use this worksheet to nudge your thinking.  Each young person you list represents an opportunity for you to make a difference. 

Start small by choosing one simple thing you can do to show every child or young person they matter.  Then, be intentional in supporting one child or young person in many ways over a long period of time. 

Who Can Connect with Kids?

Everyone has the power to help children and young people
succeed.  Being willing is the most
important credential.  To get the
experiences, skills, and guidance they need to thrive, children and young
people need a web of caring,
responsible people that they encounter in all aspects of their lives—at home,
at school, in their faith community, in their neighborhood, in stores, at work,
at the library, etc.  The more adults and
the more settings who make this effort, the better the chances are that every young person will get what they

Connections Matter

The number one thing that protects kids from making bad choices is being connected:

  • to their family
  • to their school, and
  • to their community. 

Connections are one of the most important protective factors for kids, especially as they grow older and are faced with bigger decisions. 

When kids aren’t connected, they feel invisible.  They don’t think anyone is paying attention.  They figure “why bother?” 

Top Ten Reasons To Connect with Kids

The Top Ten Reasons to Connect with Kids

1.  Research shows the #1 way to “protect” kids is to make sure they are connected to adults in a variety of settings—at home, at school, and in the community.

2.  Kids need multiple connections.  Youth who are “involved” with their school, their academics, their after school programs, and the larger community are less likely to participate in risk-taking behaviors.