When people don’t take responsibility for monitoring young people’s behavior in their neighborhood, sometimes it’s due to fear. But often it’s due to peoples’ busy and somewhat solitary lives. Young people fare better when they have adults in their lives who expect them to do their best. To achieve the most positive effects, parents and guardians, schools, youth organizations, and, yes, neighbors all need to be involved in providing rules, monitoring behavior, and setting high expectations. Remember: everyone is someone’s neighbor. Young people benefit from knowing their neighbors are looking out for their safety, as well as monitoring their behavior. Don’t become paralyzed by fear, apathy, or the pure busyness of life. Neighborhood Boundaries is Asset 13 of Search Institute’s 40 Developmental Assets, the qualities, experiences, and relationships that help young people grow up healthy, caring, and responsible.
Here are the facts
Research shows that young people will focus more of their energy on positive activities than on negative ones if they live in a neighborhood in which neighbors take responsibility for monitoring young people’s behavior. About 47 percent of young people, ages 11–18, say they have neighbors who take responsibility for monitoring young people’s behavior, according to Search Institute surveys. Creating and enforcing neighborhood boundaries helps promote leadership, fairness, and success among young people.