FUN AND JOY: Missing Out.

  • Children today are often under a high level of pressure.

  • This means they often don’t take time to have fun and enjoy life.

  • This post contains suggestions to assist them to have more joy and fun in their lives.


Children today have less opportunity for creative play.

This results in mental health problems like anxiety and depression which is increasing among children.

When youth have the opportunity to learn by playing it helps in many areas. They learn to be creative, persevere and solve problemsAlso, they gain self-confidence and demonstrate competence.

They can take ownership of their learning.

When they experiment with adult roles, they become more motivated and interested.

Youth group sessions offer them the opportunity for self-discovery.

They gain empathy for others and self-confidence.

They also develop better communication, kindness, and compassion.



Some approaches for youth group sessions:

  • Have them share a photograph at the beginning of each session. This works particularly well in online sessions.

  • Pass around a ‘special’ stone and have them share for what makes them grateful. Gratitude increases happiness and social support.

  • Discuss the good things that happen rather than the bad things that they hear about on the 24 hours news.

  • Watch videos together and discuss the messages and ideas expressed.

  • Encourage them to practice empathy and compassionThis leads to better relationships and mental well-being.

  • Encourage cooperation rather than competitiveness. This enables them to express themselves positively.

  • Have them sit quietly in a relaxed position and breathe. Let them visualize breathing kindness when they inhale and release negativity when they exhale.

  • Introduce mindfulness meditation which can decrease stress and increase happiness.

  • Have them discuss a problem of a person, an animal or even the earth. Discuss possible solutions or baby steps that might be helpful for solving the problem.

  • Introduce a short Laughter Yoga session. You can find out more in the post found at

  • Have them suggest how games and activities could be run more effectively for them.

  • Enable and allow them to take ownership of the sessions.



  • Ask what was best about their day.

  • Listen first. Speak last.

  • Allow them to make their own choices.

  • Help them think critically through decisions.

  • Believe in their abilities to overcome challenges.

  • Support and encourage them as they struggle.

  • Don’t judge or impose your beliefs on them. Let them work it out.

  • When they show courage, let them know you admire them.

  • When they solve a problem, help them reflect on what they learned.

  • When they plan an event, congratulate them on what went well.

  • Discuss real-world challenges and have them give their opinions.

  • Show them how to care for others by modeling empathy and compassion.

  • Discuss their heroes and role models.

  • Watch videos together and discuss the messages and ideas expressed.

  • Help them see the positive side of making mistakes and having failures.

  • Thank them for their kindness.

  • Do not embarrass them in front of their friends.

  • Talk to them about their futures and encourage curiosity about different career paths.

  • Apologize when you are wrong.

  • Let them know when they inspire you.

  • Believe in their abilities to overcome challenges.

  • Admit when you make a mistake and what you learned as a result.

  • Be a sounding board when they need one.

  • Encourage connecting with mentors of all ages.

  • Thank them for their ideas and suggestions.

These are approaches that can assist them to increase their fun and joy.

What are your thoughts and comments? To forward them, please see the “How Can You Help?” section below.



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There is a guide available which assists parents and others working with youth.

The guide enables a person to be proactive in the success of a child’s future.

It contains activities to assist youth to gain critical soft skills.

They will become more resourceful and independent when they practice and gain these skills.

The guide is available from Our Future Leaders.

Request the Parent’s Guide here


What are you going to do to assist children to become our future leaders?

Fred Jones

Victoria, BC Canada

Fred Jones

Fred Jones


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