NEW RELEASE - CHOICES: Encouraging Youth to Achieve Greatness

An important new book for anyone working with youth in a post-pandemic world.

CHOICES: Encouraging Youth to Achieve Greatness (launched in November 2021) is available in NEW ZEALAND only through this website for a special price of NZ$24.99 (including GST, postage and handling) while stocks last, otherwise through Wipf and Stock and Amazon (also on Kindle) or, in southern Africa at African Sun Media.

Click here to find out more or to grab your copy from Wipf and Stock (also available on Amazon and Kindle).

Positive face-to-face relationships are key to the health and well-being of our youth in a post-pandemic world. CHOICES: Encouraging Youth to Achieve Greatness inspires and guides parents, teachers, coaches, mentors, and youth workers–significant adults–to use the proven CHOICES framework to motivate youth to achieve greatness or reach their potential no matter what their circumstances might be. Robin shares how his mentors, teachers, coaches and family came alongside him during a challenging time as a young boy recovering from cancer. The lessons he learned from those experiences helped him develop the proven CHOICES framework which he has adapted when mentoring over 1000 youth. Hundreds of tips and strategies to connect with and inspire youth are shared in this user-friendly book, together with true stories of Robin’s interactions with some of the teenagers he has mentored in different countries to give credibility to the CHOICES framework. Proven education and youth mentoring strategies are linked with recent adolescent brain research. CHOICES invites readers to reflect on their own adolescent journey to appreciate some of the challenges today’s youth face, and reminds them of the importance of positive relationships in the lives of increasingly anxious, confused, or underachieving young people. CHOICES offers messages of hope to all who wish to be an optimistic voice in the life of our youth. Tips and strategies linked to goal-setting, effective communication, and resiliency can enhance the quality of teaching, mentoring, and coaching in a global community in which most youth are desperate to be heard and supported. Anyone who genuinely believes that youth are the future will value this encouraging book.

“Cox has managed to distill decades of expert teaching and mentoring into this easily read work. CHOICES presents sound wisdom, insights, and strategies for guiding young people through the turmoil of life and the world around them. This exciting book should be compulsory reading for every teacher or pastoral-care worker and every parent who aims to grow happy, significant adults.” —Paul Fleischack, Senior Deputy Rector, Michaelhouse

“Ken Blanchard, in his book Lead Like Jesus, suggests that ‘anytime we seek to influence another person we are acting as a leader.’ Robin Cox has been that leader for decades. He has influenced countless people, but his passion, because of his story of growing up, is the leadership of youth. This book brings together four decades of experience in influencing young people’s lives that has helped thousands to ‘achieve greatness.’” —Paul Browning, author of Principled: 10 Leadership Practices for Building Trust

CHOICES is a wonderful collection of stories of personal interactions that Robin has had over a long career. His practical advice, useful questions, and easy-to-read style of writing make this an excellent book for any teacher looking to mentor and guide
developing young teenagers.” —Tony Reeler, Principal, Bishops Diocesan College, Cape Town, South Africa

“Robin Cox has a wealth of experience gained over many years of successful practice in youth mentoring. His books are always full of hints and practical advice for mentors to follow. CHOICES is a sensible, credible, and relevant handbook that provides a wealth of practical approaches for successful youth mentoring.” —Bill Gavin, former Secondary School Principal, the New Zealand Youth Mentoring Network

“Making good decisions when faced with possibilities is one of the premier challenges we all face in life. When young people feel appreciated and cared for, they meet challenges and do even better than expected. CHOICES is a tool that provides youth with the ability to probe, question, debate, and feel supported. Through the exercises, trusting relationships are formed that lead to making the best choices.” —Susan G. Weinberger, President, Mentor Consulting Group

“In Robin’s succinct and easily approachable CHOICES, he provides a means for those of us who would like to be more effective as mentors to our youth, with a practical way of doing so, based upon latest brain research and a long life of mentoring experience. . . . He unpacks the theory behind the approach but bolsters this with eminently practical advice that any of us can follow. This book is a distillation, like a precious and rare perfume, of the hard-won lessons in love from a very good man. Read it!” —Andrew Cook, former Executive Head, Mitchell House

Letter 2 A Teen

This book is available in New Zealand only for $27.50 (includes GST, packaging and posting). 

“I have turned back to the book many times and, honestly, it has helped me a lot in that I have come to accept myself for who I am and am no more intimidated by friends.” (Teenage student)

“It’s a small price to pay to save the life of a teenager.” (Parent of a Teenager commenting on Letter 2 a Teen)

Robin has mentored over 1000 teenagers from a variety of socio-economic backgrounds. He has developed proven strategies to encourage teenagers to become the best they can be. Letter 2 a Teen is a user-friendly book that a teenager can use as a personal, self-empowering Journal as he or she journeys through adolescence to becoming a young adult.

All teenagers who have read the book and commented on it, have stated that it has been a help and encouragement to them and a useful reference point as they deal with teenage issues. Read more comments.

This motivational and inspirational book for adolescents has many practical activities and tips, which every parent, youth worker and teacher should read. It’s a great resource for mentors to go through with adolescent mentees.

“This appealing workbook serves as pep talk, mentor and diary, offering teens a tool for life planning. Drawings, graphics and attractive type styles enliven each page. In a “self-empowering journey,” teens reflect on their dreams, relationships, strengths and talents, practicing affirmation and goal-setting exercises. Cox offers encouragement, along with accessible tips on effective communications, good habits and handling stress. Readers can complete worksheets about time management and “being positive,” prepare a résumé and portfolio, and discover their resiliencies.

While road-testing this guide on more than a thousand teens in New Zealand, Australia and Southern Africa, Cox also considered adult mentors whom he trains in his Youth Empowerment Seminars. Both audiences will value this “letter,” and parents will gain understanding about the kind of support teenagers need. Anyone who works with youth will find many ways to use this gem.”
– Cathi MacRae, YOUTH Today – the newspaper on youth work (USA)

An Education for Life: Proven Practical Tips and Strategies to Encourage Youth to Achieve Greatness

This FREE EBOOK is for anyone working in the field of education with a transformative mindset. Robin Cox shares his personal journey to find the most effective and relevant holistic education process to encourage youth to reach their potential. During this search he met retired school principal Peter Barnard who introduced him to a twenty-first century revolutionary education idea which has been implemented in hundreds of schools in recent years. The Vertical Tutoring System is described in a user-friendly way as Robin shares how he facilitated the implementation of this system at a school in Australia where he was an Assistant Head at the time, the immediate impact and then some of the most important points to understand the power of the Vertical Tutoring System. This Vertical Tutoring System is a considerable improvement on the traditional Vertical Tutoring many educators will be familiar with. Implemented correctly, it also challenges school leadership teams to develop new, more effective and empowering selfless leadership skills. Robin believe this System can transform New Zealand high or secondary schools and reduce the high levels of anxiety, as well as other antisocial behaviors. He also believes it should be implemented globally to better prepare youth for the world of work. Vertical Tutoring contains so many aspects of the spirit of mentoring, encouraging visionary schools to train a new generation of mentors keen to make a positive difference in their communities. CLICK HERE TO GRAB YOUR FREE COPY.

Four Spirit of Mentoring Books

These four books, available from publishers, Essential Resources, will encourage anyone working with youth. They cover topics like:

  • How to set up and run a Peer Support or Peer Mentor Program
  • Ongoing training of Mentors and Peer Mentors – proven quick or longer activities
  • How to carry the spirit of mentoring into and education environment.

Click here for more information.


7 Key Qualities of Effective Teachers

SPECIAL OFFER ONLY IF YOU LIVE IN NEW ZEALAND: NZ$23.99 (includes GST, packaging and posting). 

This book is also available at all local Amazon outlets – compare prices – and is also be available on Kindle, or from Wipf & Stock, publishers. More information: Click here

7 Key Qualities of Effective Teachers: Encouragement for Christian Educators. User-friendly, plenty of reflective activities, over 70 practical tips and strategies to enhance your teaching, true stories to encourage you, short chapters to make this short book an easy and challenging read and a helpful reference book when you need some inspiration or encouragement because you are an amazing teacher! What I have learnt after 45 years in education.

“I believe this user-friendly book should be required reading for any Christian educator – whether in the classroom, the home, workplace, church or elsewhere. It’s a treasure chest of inspiration, motivation and biblical counsel, and I recommend it as an essential guide for Christian teachers who want to make an impact and a difference in the lives of their students.” (Julia Martin, New Zealand Christian Writers, Book Review, June 2021)

7 Key Qualities of Effective Teachers by Robin Cox is an overdue, rich, and inspiring resource for educators—and in fact for leaders in any organization. The seven qualities and the seventy-two practical strategies give shape to the core concept—how to be an authentic person, an effective leader, a transformative influencer, and how to do that in a way that is based on the way Jesus modeled. I highly recommend this rich resource as a daily text to delve into, to reflect on, to apply as we lead those entrusted to our care, whether they be young people or adults to whom we provide leadership.” (Rudi Pakendorf, educator and business consultant, Wisconsin)

This book is available at all local Amazon outlets – compare prices – and is also be available on Kindle. More information: Click here

NEW EBook: MENTOR - Strategies to Inspire Youth



CLICK HERE to grab your copy of this NEW EBook.

Over 1000 tips, strategies and true stories. This EBook is a collation of the following four books, edited and updated and ONLY available on Amazon Kindle.

Book 1: 167 Fun ideas and More Tips and Strategies to Encourage Youth
Book 2: 160 More Strategies, Tips and stories to Encourage Youth
Book 3: 234 Discussion Topics and More Tips and Strategies to Encourage Youth
Book 4: 60 New Mentoring Messages to Encourage Youth

Please note: You will NOT receive any further emails once the download process is complete.








The Spirit of Mentoring

Robin’s top-selling book!

This book is available in New Zealand only for $33.50 (includes GST, packaging and posting). 

“Great writing. Good images and diagrams. Liked the range of ideas for what we can ‘do’ with a mentee.” (Mentor)

“Fantastic. Interesting. Well set out. Lots of great information.” (Mentor)

The Spirit of Mentoring –  A Manual for Adult Volunteers, is used as a Resource book for the Mentoring Matters Mentor Training Program and has been used by over 1,300 volunteer adult mentors during their mentoring journey with teenagers. It has pages and pages of tips for anyone mentoring teenagers – goal setting, communication, resiliency, resolving conflicts, self-image issues and lots more. User-friendly and with tips and ideas that support the latest adolescent brain research.

This Manual has been used by Youth Mentor Programs in New Zealand, Australia and the USA.

“Definitely user-friendly. Excellent lay-out. Great content. Overall I’m very impressed. It’s something I will use all the time.” (Mentor)

Mentoring Minutes - FREE podcasts

These free podcasts have hundreds of tips and ideas to encourage anyone who works alongside youth. We look at self-image, communication, how to set and attain goals, conflict resolution, how to live a healthy and balanced life style, the developing brain, anxiety and stress, resiliency and much more. 260 short podcasts or one a day each day of the week through the year. Access the podcasts and click here 


Mentoring Minutes

Mentoring Minutes: Weekly Messages to Encourage Anyone Guiding Youth

BUY NOW! This book (published in August 2020) can be ordered for NZ$34.99 (includes GST, packaging and posting) through this website in New Zealand ONLY, while stocks last. The book is also available from Wipf & Stock (the publisher), Amazon and on Kindle.

This user-friendly book will be an encouragement to schools, youth workers, mentors, parents, grandparents, employers of young people, indeed, anyone who wishes to see young people fulfill their potential.

“Mentoring Minutes in some respects has become an almost self-help book for mentors. In this regard, it is a unique and revolutionary approach.” (Dr. Susan Weinberger)

“Mentoring Minutes is a wonderful book that will be enormously helpful to programs and mentors alike. Through engaging quotes and upbeat messages, mentoring expert Robin Cox has found a way to deliver just the right balance of research and inspiration.” (Professor Jean Rhodes)

“Cox’s book gives endless practical advice to mentors alongside grounded mentoring theory. He carefully balances the primacy to build trust with the new research recommending a more intentional approach. The week by week format helpfully mirrors the mentoring journey and gives hope to the young people Cox shows such a belief in.” (Matthew Button, Big Brothers Big Sisters of New Zealand)

“This book is an amazing resource for anyone working with a young person in a mentoring role – both in and outside of programs. A lifetime’s worth of wisdom and insight has been collected and shared here. Robin has done a wonderful job of highlighting many of the intricacies of the art of mentoring and I hope this book encourages new mentors and fortifies those who are already supporting young people.” (Michael Garringer, MENTOR, The National Mentoring Partnership (USA))


The Barnabas Prayer

The Barnabas Prayer (published in February 2021) is available in NEW ZEALAND only for a special price of NZ$19.99 (including GST, postage and handling), otherwise through Wipf and Stock and Amazon (also on Kindle). 

Click here to find out more or to grab your copy from Wipf and Stock (also available on Amazon and Kindle).

A short user-friendly book which follows the significant role that Barnabas – mentor to Saul – played in the emergence of the early Church. We consider some of the key qualities of a servant leader as we journey with Barnabas. Over 100 ideas to inspire and motivate readers to make a positive difference in their communities. Reflections, tips to improve and develop our leadership and coaching skills, and memorable quotes are all included in this guide on how to use our God-given gifts and talents in the post COVID-19 world. The ‘spirit of mentoring’ theme is woven through all the sections of the book.

What people say about the book:

“I have rarely come across such an encouraging, practical, and informative book all rolled into one! Robin Cox combines Scripture, church history, the quotations of the saints over the centuries, and prayer with a wealth of practical advice, exhortation, and examples of simple ‘tasks’ as we draw alongside of’ others in the mold of Barnabas. A book to read in one sitting and also one to dip into daily.”
—Alastair Reid, general secretary, The Independent Schools’ Christian Alliance

“Have you ever wondered how powerful encouragement is? Robin Cox has. So much so, he has given his life to encouraging others to pursue God’s purpose. Now he helps us do the same, by exploring the life and motivation of Barnabas. He provides multiple practical examples of how we can emulate this great leader, from opening a door to adopting a child. Buy the book, read the book, then release the book’s message in others.”
—Graham Coyle, chairman, European Educators’ Christian Association

“If you knew you could change the world for Jesus what would you do first? As I read Robin’s latest book I was humbled by his simple but profound words of encouragement. We are called to love God with all our heart, soul, and mind, and love our neighbor as ourselves, but how? The Barnabas Prayer, in all its simplicity, shows us what it truly means to not just be believers, but followers of Christ.”
—Paul Browning, headmaster, St. Paul’s School

“Robin Cox skillfully takes us on a journey towards being an encourager, using a prayer as the map. At each location he provides insightful quotes, reflection questions, relevant historical data, and practical ‘to do’ lists, all of which motivate us to continue the journey. At our destination we find ourselves knowing more about Barnabas and the early church. We also have a practical framework within which to explore the possibilities of serving others through encouragement.”
—Marion Sanders, Head of the School of Teacher Education, Bethlehem Tertiary Institute, New Zealand

The Barnabas Prayer by Robin Cox is a timely, richly layered, inspirational book that speaks to the needs of people all over the world in these tumultuous times. Deeply appalled by the dastardly things humans can do to other humans, Cox seeks not to blame or accuse, but instead asks what God wants him to do. I warmly recommend this text in which Cox gently takes us by the hand and invites us to share in this journey of love in action, giving multiple practical suggestions to inspire you and me to show love in action in our own communities.”
—Rudi Pakendorf, Lutheran lay leader in South Africa and the United States

“An inspiring book filled with plenty of highly practical real-life examples, The Barnabas Prayer is a thought-provoking read. We need a generation of people willing to follow in the footsteps of Barnabas and this book is a good place to start reflecting on what that journey might look like.”
—Hilary Hague, national director, Scripture Union NZ

Click here to grab your copy from Wipf and Stock (also available on Amazon and Kindle).



To motivate, inspire and encourage young people (with a particular focus on ages 13 to 19) to reach their potential and be ready to play their part in the 21st Century world of work as happy, creative, entrepreneurial and resilient people.


Affirming and encouraging the ‘Spirit of Mentoring’; with an outcome where young people are guided and equipped to reach their potential, living healthy and balanced lifestyles, within the context of a safe, supportive and secure environment.


The Mentoring Matters material has been developed in line with the findings of international and Australasian research about young people, including some of the most recent adolescent brain research. This material will encourage parents, teachers, volunteer adult mentors and anyone working with youth.

Messages from Gramps reflects the years of experience being shared with anyone who wishes to encourage, motivate and inspire young people. Robin is a grandfather who is regularly reminded of the powerful influence grandparents have on their grandchildren – with more knowledge we make it an even more special experience.

To be cared for (loved)

  • Youth wish to feel safe and secure.
  • The more they are cared for, the more secure they feel.
  • They wish to be surrounded by people who unconditionally care for, appreciate and accept them.
  • They value the positive influences of peers and adults to encourage them to do their best.
  • They are encouraged to appreciate that they are more likely to fulfill their potential when there are clear rules or boundaries in place (some of which can be negotiated). When they step over these boundaries there will be reasonable consequences.

To be valued

  • The more youth are valued the more positive self-worth they experience.
  • They are encouraged to feel they have some control over things that happen to them.
  • Empowering them will be proof that they are valued, respected, liked and are regarded as valuable resources.
  • They value fun time to interact with peers and adults, which involves the development of social skills.

To know that life has meaning and purpose

  • Youth want to know that they matter and their lives have significance.
  • The more they understand that there is a reason for their existence, the more significant they will feel.
  • They value encouragement to explore opportunities within and outside of school to learn and develop new skills and interests.
  • They are encouraged to acquire a commitment to learning: academic success and the long-term value of learning enhances their self-worth as they discover their gifts and talents.
  • They learn to appreciate and understand how to make the tough decisions and choices; how to cope with new situations.
  • They value guidance to develop a positive view of the future.
Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as you ever can.
John Wesley

Mentors, the wise guides who voluntarily move alongside our young people and become great, trusted friends.