FRIDAY, JUNE 8: To paraphrase the slogan used in the US military, “I’m looking for a few good young people.”

I know they’re out there and I want to celebrate them. 

So put on your thinking caps, as they used to tell us in school, and make a list of all the young people you know who are doing well and worth celebrating.

One of my recent guests on Generations shared on air an observation about a young person being reprimanded and ridiculed in a grocery store by a woman presumed to be the mother.

After witnessing the backlash, my guest expressed the fact that she felt badly about it — and reflected on other ways the mother could have handled the situation.

I’d be the first to admit, in my role as a parent, that sometimes anger toward my sons has been the first order of business before what one may call rational thinking.

But despite that, I’ve always tried never to embarrass or humiliate them in public and I’ve tried to help them understand why I was angry in the first place.

I remember as a child, my mother tried never to humiliate my sister or me in public either.

She would grit her teeth and apply pressure a little more than normal to our arm or ear to let us know that she didn’t like what we were doing in public. And it worked. 

But for those who bad-mouth, lambast, ostracize, and belittle their children in public a very important question remains: What damage is being done to that child’s self esteem?

And what happens when this negativity is spewed to young people over a prolonged period of time?

I strongly believe that within every young person there are good and positive qualities that must be nurtured in order to become activated.

We need to highlight their success stories and encourage them to continue to excel.

Sometimes it’s the simplest word of praise that can elevate a young person’s self esteem and put them on the right path to goal-setting and a brighter future. 

Simple words can also deflate — and, contrary to popular belief, sticks and stones do break bones and names do in fact hurt and can remain as scars etched on one’s psyche for a lifetime. 

I want to hear from you, the readers, about the young people I asked you to think about at the start of this article so that I can celebrate those young people by name on an upcoming show.

Whether that young person has received accolades in school, sports, or anywhere else in the community, I’d like to hear about it.

Please send your comments to me via the e-mail address at the end of this article. As the children say, I dare you.

I’m looking forward to welcoming two awesome young people to the Generations studio on Monday, June 11. 

Hear first-hand from Mikaela Outerbridge and Lindley Scott about the life transformations they’ve experienced and how their changes helped others to change, too.

I’m certain that what they have to share will give adults invaluable insight into improving ways to communicate with young people.

Shawnette Somner is the host of Generations, which airs on DeFontes’ Broadcasting Company’s MIX106 FM, 7.30pm-9pm every Monday. Call in live during the show on 295-1061. Send comments and show ideas to: