What We Young People Want

There is always the complaint that young people don’t listen. They are too quick to make judgment and in their little wisdom think that everything can be achieved by enthusiasm or the little “eureka” moments they have. It is said that the young person works with bursts of energy and doesn’t sit down to make proper analysis of what is before them so as to plan well.

Well, the older people have complaints against them too, most especially, that they also do not listen. Essentially, they are said to always attempt to force their opinions and plans on young ones without seeking for the latter’s opinions on the premise that it will generally be faulty due to the lack of experience or understanding.

In school, we learnt about principles of effective communication. One of them is to listen and understand first. Both parties are accused of not listening. That means, nobody is listening to anybody and nobody understands anything anybody is trying to say. (That’s a mouthful). Personally, I think what young people need are not many. They’re really just a handful.

1.     A listening ear

The biggest accusation against older people by youth is that they do not listen. Of course we young people understand that we don’t have it all figured out. We know we still have a long way to go. Experience is yet to teach us much, for most of us. However, that doesn’t mean we don’t need to express our views. When you listen to me and show that you have understood me, I’ll be less rebellious because I know that by having a contrary opinion to mine, you are not just seeking to oppose me but you have understood my point and seen, from your own wisdom, that there may be some faulty arguments. Then you can now reinforce some of my points or simply give me yours. I’ll see reasons with you.

2.    Encouragement

Everybody needs validation. It like a feedback mechanism that helps an engineering system maintain consistency. A few months back, I was teaching a child to draw. I drew a road with overhead cables and included some perspective (that’s what it’s called in art) to emphasize distances. The child then took the book and began to make his own drawings. As a 2 year old he wasn’t doing any spectacular drawings. In fact, the drawings weren’t explicit enough to allow the viewer know what he was drawing. Notwithstanding, he showed his mother in joy what he had accomplished but she was consumed in a discussion with another person. And it wasn’t an important matter, I remember. She merely glanced, and without expression looked away and continued her discussion. Well, although the boy didn’t cry, he looked away a little disappointed to look at his drawing maybe to see if anything was wrong with it

3.     Opportunities

There are always opportunities. Sometimes, we just don’t see them. Good guidance would open our eyes to the opportunities around us. Encouragement will help us take advantage of them. Training will help us sharpen our skills and excel in those opportunities. We become better when we can see the opportunities available to us and are able to use them. We are able to do this by practice, as we habitually take advantage of all opportunities which are in line with our vision for life.


There could be more things that would help a young person develop better. But when you give us these for a start, it’ll be much easier to add to them.