It may feel overwhelming to think of the best ways to integrate a youth into your home. At THRIVE! we believe that if you have empathy and are committed to engaging with that youth and respecting them and their autonomy over their own lives, you will be a great host! Youth do not need someone to parent them, but rather need someone to humanize them and their experiences with compassion, understanding, and love.
Visit our resources below to learn more about the importance of empathy, key ways to engage with youth, and how to be both aware and active in dismantling adultism.
What is the best way to ease someone’s pain and suffering? In this beautifully animated video, Dr Brené Brown reminds us that we can only create a genuine empathic connection if we are brave enough to really get in touch with our own fragilities.
All young people can be engaged fully and wholly, everyday in every way. Youth engagement can happen in every way you can imagine. Here are a few different options for youth and adults who want to engage young people in conscious, deliberate ways.
For a more in-depth look at the ways in which a host family engaged with their youth guest to fully integrate them into their home, watch this short documentary, The Infamous T. The film examines an intimate year in the life of Jonathon, a young man finding himself while living at the intersection of queer and black identities and struggling with a lifetime of homelessness. Tune in to see how he struggles to balance his family of origin and host family, stay in school, and be his most authentic self.
To be successful in our work with young people, we must understand a particular condition of youth: that young people are often mistreated and disrespected simply because they are young. The word adultism refers to behaviors and attitudes based on the assumption that adults are better than young people, and entitled to act upon young people without their agreement. This mistreatment is reinforced by social institutions, laws, customs, and attitudes.
Whether we’re talking about education, youth work, business, schools, government organizations, or elsewhere, adultism is behind behavior, attitudes, cultures, systems, physical places and much more.
What are the basics of adultism?
Adultism is the bias towards adults that causes discrimination against youth. First coined in the late 1800s, the term describes the ways adults treat children and youth, and is obvious through language, culture, architecture, education, healthcare, families, and more. Adultism includes attitudes, beliefs, and discrimination in favor of adults throughout our society. Read more from Adam Fletcher, a writer, speaker and consultant focused on youth engagement and social change.
Learn from others who have been participants in host home programs from Baltimore, Rural Pennsylvania, and Richmond: