What Everyone Should Know About Keeping Youth Healthy and Safe: Part 2

What do we mean when we talk about healthy beliefs and clear standards? Take a moment to reflect back on when you were growing up. Was there something that a parent, grandparent, neighbor, coach or teacher instilled in you? Were you expected to make your bed in the morning, brush your teeth after every meal, change your underwear each day? These are examples of healthy beliefs, and clear standards.

When parents, guardians or other adults in the community share healthy beliefs with youth, and set clear standards of behavior, adults can help youth make healthy, safe decisions in a world that sometimes pressures them to engage in unhealthy behaviors.

It’s important as an adult to:

  • communicate the standards you expect to youth, for example: expecting a child to brush their teeth after every meal

  • teach youth any skills they may need to complete the standard, for example: demonstrating the most effective way to brush their teeth

  • recognize when youth meet a standard, for example: allowing a child to stay up an extra 30 minutes on a Friday for brushing their teeth after every meal

  • guide youth to get “back on track” if they don’t meet the standard

Setting clear standards can be used when talking about substance use and other risky behaviors. By letting youth know what is expected of them, it helps support youth in making healthy decisions when faced with unhealthy options.

Impact Norwood