7 Rules for Adult Allies

The other day I was asked what guides my philosophy regarding being an adult ally to youth. Following are seven rules that I use to guide my practice.

  • If you don’t experience discomfort everytime you’re listening to Youth Voice, you aren’t listening right.
  • If you can’t stay engaged enough to simply sit and listen to young people talk, you aren’t being an adult ally.
  • If you can’t speak your truth to young people you aren’t in a youth/adult partnership.
  • If you can’t expect and accept not having closure when young people share their voices you aren’t being an adult ally.
  • Listening to Youth Voice means listening for understanding, rather than to support your own conclusions.
  • If you’re an adult ally to young people you’ll engage, support, and challenge them, and not try to fix them. They aren’t broken.
  • If you aren’t taking risks you aren’t being an adult ally.

These are seven simple guidelines that I think of right now. You can see my colleague Sven Bonnichsen’s Guidelines for Adult Allies here under Part IV, and I have collected other resources for adult allies on Freechild’s website.

Written by Adam Fletcher, this article was originally posted to http://commonaction.blogspot.com. Learn more at adamfletcher.net!

Published by Adam

For almost two decades, Adam F. C. Fletcher has led international outreach focused on engaging people successfully. Working with thousands of youth-serving nonprofits, K-12 schools, government agencies, international NGOs and other organizations around the world, his work spans the fields of education, public health, economic development and social services, and includes professional development, public speaking, publishing, social media and more. He founded the Freechild Institute for Youth Engagement, SoundOut and CommonAction, as well as writing more than 50 publications and 500 articles. He has also established 150-plus community empowerment projects.

Join the Conversation

1 Comment

  1. my name is manal azraq frome palestine iam 32 i finshed unversity iwark at the future vision society fo the abilities and i bilive in what i read but i want to aske how cani halpe my orginiztion to get fund for her projects that we are registered since 2005 we never had the chans to get fund halpe me withe your i dvice thinks

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *