In the spring of 2015, a group of elementary, middle and high school parents had several meetings with representatives from East Haddam Youth & Family Services and the East Haddam Local Prevention Council. The purpose of the meetings was to develop a community-wide initiative that would tie into the Mean It campaign and focus on the important role that parents and other adults play in the lives of East Haddam’s youth.
Be Your Best Self is a message that is intended for every youth and adult in East Haddam and for our community as a whole. It asks us to:
• Realize that we are role models for our youth. They are always paying attention – whether we intend it or not;
• Be aware of the messages our youth are getting from us. They are listening to what we say but learning from what we do;
• Understand that our youth need healthy, positive adults in their lives;
• Stay connected and involved with our youth through their adolescence.
Be Your Best Self is a parent-led initiative. It was developed in response youth reporting* that:
• Just 27% of our youth perceive that adults in our community values them;
• Just 30% believe that parents and other adults model positive, responsible behavior;
• Just 30% feel that youth are given positive roles in our community.
*2016 Search Institute Survey: Profiles of Student Life: Attitudes and Behaviors
Be Your Best Self continues their movement that is open to everyone who wants to be involved in making East Haddam the best possible place for youth, families and all adults to feel connected, valued and supported.