Have you ever wanted some quick tips and ideas to encourage your work with teenagers – as a teacher, coach, parent, grandparent, or youth worker?
During the past couple of weeks I have been going through the final proof of my new book: Mentoring Minutes: Weekly Messages to Encourage Anyone Working with Youth. There are 260 daily messages – five each week of the year – covering many topics: self-image, communication, positively resolving conflicts, resiliency, goal setting and more. I have woven true mentoring stories throughout the book to encourage anyone working with young people never to quit on them.
This blog is an example of one daily message.
Tips to nurture resilient mentees
A key role of an effective volunteer adult mentor is to develop resilient mentees. How can you do this?
Here are a few ideas and strategies that I have used effectively for many years. The key point is that they are non-threatening, motivating and even, in some instances, inspiring.
- Focus on the development of a caring, trusting relationship with your mentees, and not on saving them.
- Have fun.
- Have positive, high, realistic expectations for your mentees.
- Never quit on your mentees.
- Meet your mentees’ emotional safety needs by being available to talk. Sustain kindness, for example, with a touch on the shoulder, a smile, or a genuine greeting.
- Get to know your mentees’ strengths, dreams, and gifts. Help them to develop the skills and resources to unlock these. You convey the message: You matter.
- Be reliable and accessible, and turn up for the agreed meetings with your mentees.
- Encourage your mentees to create positive peer groups—that is, small groups to help build a positive community.
- Respect, take an interest in, actively listen to, and validate the feelings of a struggling mentee in a non-judgmental manner.
- Encourage your mentees to involve themselves in extracurricular activities, such as art, music, cultural activities, community projects, or service activities in or out of school.
Mentoring tip: Encourage, affirm, and cheer your mentee on to greater heights.
Why the book?
My youth mentoring experiences over the years have shown me how important ongoing encouragement and training of volunteer mentors is. This user-friendly book, with a foreword by youth mentoring global expert, Dr Susan Weinberger, aims to plug that gap. It will be out soon.
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 using their God-given talents. 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 New Zealand 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 Facebook or contact him through his Mentoring Matters website Robin’s free Mentoring Minutes daily podcasts (each podcast between 2 and 4 minutes), containing hundreds of tips for anyone working with young people, are available here. Over 50 blogs have been converted to short video clips, all of which are linked to encouraging youth to reach their potential. These are available on YouTube https://www.youtube.