Are You Uneasy about Expanding Possibilities?

Mother and daughter talking to father and son at park

Reluctant to Connect with Others?

​We would like to have other supportive adults in our kids’ lives. We would like there to be other people we can count on when our kids need them.

Yet we sometimes are slow to connect our kids with other adults, ideas, and experiences. We may worry that these connections could:

  • Lead other people to meddle with our parenting and our family.
  • Reflect badly on us if our kids turn to other adults for advice.
  • Influence our kids in ways we don’t like.1

We also hear about adults who may take advantage of our kids, which is particularly scary. (In reality, the vast majority of adults are trustworthy, and—of course—parenting adults should take steps to ensure that relationships are safe and appropriate.)

The good news is that relationships with other adults can enhance teens’ relationships with their parents, according to a mentoring study.2 Our opportunity as parents is to help to make connections that we trust and will bring out the best in our kids.

Next Steps

  • Take the quiz to explore the ways you can expand possibilities in your family.
  • Learn about expanding possibilities online for young people.

Research Sources

1. Kesselring, M., de Winter, M., Horjus, B., van de Schoot, R., & van Yperen, T. (2012). Do parents think it takes a village? Parents’ attitudes towards nonparental adults' involvement in the upbringing and nurture of children. Journal of Community Psychology, 40(8), 921–937. doi:10.1002/jcop.21497

2. Rhodes, J. E., Grossman, J. B., & Resch, N. L. (2000). Agents of change: Pathways through which mentoring relationships influence adolescents’ academic adjustment. Child Development, 71(6), 1662–1671. doi:10.1111/1467-8624.00256