Unconditional belief is not blind acceptance. It means that we are not going anywhere and our presence is a constant stable force from which young people can draw security and confidence. Ideally, parents are the adults who offer unconditional love. When they do, other adults presence is additive. When they cannot, youth-serving professionals become imperative in the lives of adolescents.
When we speak of “holding a young person to high expectations,” it does not refer to demanding high grades or athletic excellence, although it is reasonable to expect a good effort. Rather, It is about always expecting the child or adolescent to live up to the core values and essential goodness we know lies within them. Young people who know their parents and other adults see the best within them will live up to those expectations.