If someone asked you what tips you would pass on to them to help them be an encouragement to young people, what would you say?
This is a topic I have researched for many, many years and have gathered all that research to produce some short tips to encourage parents and mentors as they journey with young people through adolescence. Indeed, these tips would be relevant for anyone working with young people. So, here are the 10 Hot Tips for effective Parenting and Mentoring of Teenagers.
1. Listen! Listen! Listen! Listen more than you speak.
2. Love unconditionally and NEVER quit!
3. Empathise and genuinely affirm their EFFORTS (so you are not seen to be judging character).
4. Negotiate boundaries and be consistent.
5. Apologise sincerely when in the wrong and never publicly humiliate them.
6. Walk alongside them as they explore their career options, always encouraging them to chase their dreams.
7. Catch them doing good and celebrate! It is so important to keep a sense of humour and have some fun.
8. Journey with them through failure to make this a positive learning experience without trying to enforce your values on them.
9. Support their idealism and let them know you believe in them and are their greatest, non-judgmental Cheerleader!
10. Keep envisioning the people they can become. NEVER let go of that vision.
Keep reminding yourself that the young person in front of you is trying to find their way during the most confusing time of their lives, while their brains are still developing and they are so conscious of how they look.
Be their rock and safety-net who they know they can depend on. Take time reflecting on how they might be feeling and how you can be that wonderful support to them. One day they will thank you, though don’t expect the thanks 🙂
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 Robin’s free Mentoring Matters daily podcasts (each podcast between 1.5 and 3 minutes), containing hundreds of tips for anyone working with young people, are available here.