We have to continually remind ourselves that researchers suggest that young people want to feel
- cared for (loved)
- that their lives have meaning and purpose
7 ways to understand and encourage Today’s adolescents
- Most of today’s children learn best by doing things, reflecting on the experience and learning lessons from the activity which they can then apply to their daily lives. As adults we can help them make sense of what appears to them at times to be much confusion.
- Children value and appreciate recognition for their efforts eg, a special meal, a positive text message, a congratulatory card, something special in their lunch packs, a surprise of some sort which does not have to cost a great deal of money – preferably none at all!
- Children enjoy hearing true stories which they can relate to, which might motivate them, inspire them, reassure them etc.
- Children value learning from older people they respect who are genuine and who walk the talk. Such people create an emotionally safe environment in which they also feel secure.
- Children enjoy diversity and change – how can we, as mentors, parents and coaches, encourage them at such times?
- Children value consensus and collaboration, two key words in their world.
- Children value clear and concise communication.
10 Hot Tips for Effective Mentoring, Parenting and Coaching adolescents
- Listen! Listen! Listen!
- Love unconditionally and never quit.
- Apologise sincerely when in the wrong and never publicly humiliate them.
- Walk alongside them as they explore career options, always encouraging them to go after their dreams.
- Empathise and affirm.
- Negotiate boundaries and be consistent.
- Catch them doing good and celebrate!
- Journey with them through failure to make this a positive learning experience without trying to enforce your values on them.
- Support their idealism and let them know you believe in them and are their greatest cheerleaders.
- Keep envisioning the people they can become and never let go of that vision.
Do you have a story to share about how you have positively nurtured a young person to become the best they can be?
About the author: Robin Cox has been a School Principal, sports coach to National Under 19 Level, Youth Symposium Organizer, developer of Youth Mentoring Programs in New Zealand and Australia, Churchill Fellow and author of books linked to youth mentoring, Peer Mentoring and the development of adolescents to become the best they can be. He has trained over 1,000 volunteer adult mentors, run workshops for teachers promoting the Spirit of Mentoring and personally mentored over 1,000 adolescents. Still an idealist, a cancer survivor of 50+ years, married with two adult children, Robin lives in Australia and shares a passion with anyone wanting to make a positive difference in the global community. You can see his short daily mentoring tips on Twitter @million2016coxy or on Facebook (where you are able to join a closed mentoring group) or contact him through his Mentoring Matters website