4-H relationships are about trust, mutual warmth, and respect. 4-H adults are safe and they are here to help. When youth and adults do 4-H work together and everyone grows from the experience, it is a developmental relationship.
Qualities of a developmental relationship:
- Secure attachment between youth and adult.
The relationship has mutual warmth, respect, and trust.
- Bidirectional relationship.
Youth and adult engage together in their 4-H work, with both gaining from the experience.
- Grows over time to address changing needs.
As their world grows more complex, so do the skills youth need to navigate it.
- Shifts power over time.
Developmental relationships eventually move from adult-driven to a partnership, reflecting the young person’s “increasing competence, personal autonomy, decision making, and identity formation”
Listening • Dependability • Accountability • Reflection • Empowering • Advocating