More on youth development from the 40 Developmental Assets described by the Search Institute:
3) Other Adult Relationships: where teens receive support from three or more non-parent adults.
Swap a CD or M3P player with a teen. Listen to the music together if you can, and tell each other why you picked that music.
Find a teenage gourmet goodie buddy. Bake brownies, cookies, or other treats as a fun way to spend time together.
Send cards or e-mail greetings to the young people you know to mark holidays, birthdays, and other important milestones in their lives.
Invite a young friend to spend time with you as you till, plant, and tend a garden patch — or create a container garden with potted plants.
As a parent, do you know someone who might be willing to start a mentoring relationship with your teen who shares your teen’s passion? A colleague? Music instructor? Your child’s employer?
4) Neighborhood: where teens experience caring neighbors.
Have neighborhood celebration on the first or last day of the school year. Invite youth, parents, teachers and other neighbors.
Organize informal activities (such as pick-up basketball) for young people on your street.
Make plans to keep doing the activity weekly if they are interested. If you live in an apartment or condominium, spend time in the teen hangouts, such as front steps, courtyards, meeting rooms, pools, laundry rooms, and lobbies.
Greet people and try to start conversations. Let the kids in your neighborhood know they can play basketball in your driveway, cut through your yard to get to school, sled down the hill in your backyard—whatever you feel comfortable with.
Organize a neighborhood bake sale or garage sale, or try a barter day—you and your neighbors can gather to trade items.