THE EIGHT KEYS OF POSITIVE YOUTH DEVELOPMENT: #5 RELATIONSHIPS

“I made the best friends I ever had at the Game Loft.”
-
Ross, Game Loft alumnus

Healthy relationships are essential for good mental and physical health. Humans are hard-wired to live in communities that help them overcome stress, anxiety, and depression and to make appropriate decisions. All of us live in a variety of sub-communities that we like to call “communities of interest.” These communities of interest may form in our workplace, school, or community. Non-electronic games create a community of interest. When kids are in community then quality relationships with peers and adults develop. Through caring and trusting relationships with each other youth and adults learn together and respect one another. Supportive relationships provide safety, stability and encouragement in the lives of our young people. At the Game Loft youth have a range of adults providing daily encouragement and support. In many ways the Game Loft community operates as an idealized family group. In particular the Circle of Care program (LINK) operates as a family support and provides an alternate kinship group to teens.

NON-Electronic Games are the activity

Non-electronic games build community because they teach us to win graciously and lose gracefully as well as teaching how to think in a group setting. Non-electronic games are by nature pro-social as they require face to face interaction. Role play games in particular provide significant pro-social activity because the same small group meets together on a consistent basis to solve problems in a narrative adventure setting. Face to face gaming can lead to lifelong friendships with peers and adults.

"A long-term relationship with a caring adult can change a young person's life." Forgotten Half, 1988.

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