I appreciate how the Times Observer intentionally highlights the accomplishments of children and teens almost daily. It's great that an individual, classroom, or a club gets a HIGH FIVE in such a prominent platform in our community life. Young people-especially teens-don't always fare so well in other media. When there is a constant parade of ills associated with youth it creates a distorted and hopeless image of an entire generation.
To be sure, there are many influences that can detrimentally impact young people. We need wise caregivers to steer youth away from risky behavior. It is just a question of balance-there are also a lot of good opportunities for young people, too. Encouragement is just as important as safeguarding.
Family Services has a free resource that parents, guardians, and other caring adults may find of interest. Every month we send out a short email with some things families, schools, and organizations can do to encourage young people to be healthy, caring, and responsible. Our subscribers find it a dose of encouragement every month because it relates many practical things they can to do with their family.
You can subscribe to the Parenting newsletter by going to our homepage at fswc.org.
Ian Eastman, M.A., promotes the health and well-being of families at Family Services of Warren County, a charitable agency that helps people through counseling, substance abuse services, and support groups. The Kwik Fill Kinzua Classic is a challenging bicycle race in the scenic Kinzua area on August 11. Proceeds benefit Family Services. For more information go to www.kinzuaclassic.com.