What Matters Mondays – Nov.22, 2016

November 21st, 2016 by admin Leave a Comment

Don’t we all want our kids to thrive?

I know for me the answer is HECK YES!


I spent two days with Derek Peterson and about 120 incredible people – a combination of youth and adults from a small community – and we learned what it takes for youth to thrive.


The formula is simple. It’s not easy. But it’s simple.




Remember learning about the colors of the rainbow in school? Let’s see…


R = RED is the Power of FIVE

Every youth needs at least 5 caring adults/anchors in their life who have high expectations and who provide opportunities for them.

I looked at my own boys and I feel such gratitude. They have so many caring adults in their lives – parents, aunts, uncles, teachers, coaches, youth council leaders, parents of their friends…etc.

The reality…not all kids have 5. In fact there are many kids who don’t have even 1.

In my work, I meet many youth who cannot name one adult.

Adults….there are many youth out there who need you? Who can you be an anchor for?

At this event, I got to be an anchor to a few youth….it felt so great…connecting and reminding them that they matter!


O = ORANGE are tangible strings

Home, clothing, nutritious food, boundaries & consequences, learning, sports, expectations, neighbors….all of these are tangible strings.

Adults – which tangible strings are you throwing to the youth in your life?

The more strings a youth has…the less likely he/she is going to fall through the cracks. A thick web is going to help youth thrive.


Y = YELLOW are intangible strings

Now this is where I got really excited…this is my area of expertise! Values!!!

Integrity, compassion, humor, gratitude, courage, achievement, forgiveness…these are all intangible strings.

As an adult – through your actions – you teach the youth around you how to live with values. When you show up with compassion instead of judgment, you are the example to a youth.

Adults – What values are you teaching youth?



A person’s innate characteristics, natural abilities, talents, intelligence determines the size of the balloon.

The bigger the balloon the less likely it is to fall through the cracks. However, a small balloon, just needs more strings and anchors.


B=BLUE are the scissor cuts

Reducing or eliminating the conditions, actions or attitudes that erode the strings being created by the anchors. For example, if a youth starts using alcohol at age 15, they are likely to begin lying to the adults/anchors in their life and cutting strings in their webs.


I = Indigo is Caring for the Carers (the web beneath your anchors)

Just as youth need 5 adults/anchors in their lives…so do we as adults.

When an adult’s web is thin, it is challenging for the adult to be available to fully support a youth. As youth, when you are feeling like an adult has let you down, before getting angry and lashing out, ask yourself if there may be a reason. Maybe the adult is doing the best they can, but they are also struggling with a thin web.


V = Violet are social norms within your area or community

For example, if doing drugs is “Just what we do in our community” then the web will likely be affected. It is like a storm, it can affect the entire web.



After the two days, we received comments like, “This event changed my life and it will change the community.” and “This has had an incredible impact on my daughter. She has a much better sense of what she needs and how she can succeed.”

and “Thank you. I feel like I have a purpose here and I can achieve it.”


Teach ROYGBIV to everyone you know. Help adults know what to do to support youth and help youth learn how to ask for what they need.


What every kid needs first and foremost are adults in their lives. Every one of us can be an anchor to a youth.


What color will you give more thought to today?

Who is in your five?



Comments are closed.

Phone: 780-991-0191