GENERATION FIX: DISCUSSION GUIDE FOR PARENTS AND TEACHERS
These discussion questions are designed to stimulate conversations about how you and other adults can support Gen Fixers in their efforts to make the world a better place.
What do these stories say about the potential of the younger generation?
Can kids really make the world better? What is special about youth?
What does society expect of its young people? What messages do parents and teachers and other adults send to kids about their ability to make change in their world?
What are some ways adults can better inspire or encourage young people to become involved in community service?
Have you ever talked with a young person about their ideas about hunger, homelessness, violence, discrimination or problems with health care, education or the environment? How did it go?
Tips for talking with Gen Fixers about their ideas:
Ask open-ended questions. Ask: "What kind of shape do you think the world is in? What about our country? Our town or city?"
Talk about the problems they most care about. Ask: "What problems concern you most? What would you like to see fixed?"
Start with broad questions. Ask: "What should be done to address homelessness?"
Ask for more specifics. For example, if someone suggests building more homeless shelters ask: "Where? Who should build them? How should we pay for them? What should they be like?"
After you ask a question, don't jump in too soon. These are difficult questions. Kids will need time to think. Allow silence - the space to think. If you or the young person feel uncomfortable with the silence, say something like: "These are really tough problems aren't they? Adults don't have them figured out yet, so I'm not surprised that you need time to think." Then allow more silence.
Get personal. Ask: "What part of this might you like to do?"
Help them brainstorm resources. Ask: "Who could help you? What kind of help would you like to get from other kids? From your parents? From your teachers? From me?"
Listen, listen, listen!
Did these questions spur good discussions? Please e-mail Elizabeth Rusch at email@example.com with additional questions, suggestions or comments.