Friday, September 23, 2016

Remembering the Importance of Relationships and Kindness

By Sam Piha

Sam Piha
I was reminded this week of the importance of adult relationships in young people’s development and the difference we can make by offering understanding, kindness, and acceptance. This is easy to take for granted because of all of the pressure to focus on content and academic/non-academic skills. 

I was reminded of this due to an interview between Terry Gross (NPR) and Ryan Speedo Green. Mr. Green was a violent and troubled youth at an early age. Due to the kindness and acceptance of an elementary school teacher, he is now a singer with New York’s Metropolitan Opera. You too can be inspired - have a listen


I was also reminded of a chapter in the CNYD Youth Development Guide that focuses on relationship building. You can read this chapter by clicking here. Within this chapter is a staff exercise entitled “Cookie Lady” (page 20 of the PDF). This exercise asks adults to think back to a certain age and identify the adults that were very important to them. One participant identified the lady in the cafeteria that passed out cookies - hence the name “Cookie Lady”.        


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