Have you ever feared the unknown future?
It seems as though this is an issue that many of today’s young people are grappling with. What jobs will still be around when I finish school? What jobs will there be available to me when I graduate from University? How will robotics and Artificial Intelligence impact my career prospects?
These are all legitimate questions and our young people need to be encouraged and supported as they journey through adolescence to become the best people they can be, so let’s consider 12 qualities you can nurture to develop resilient teenagers.Lou Thompson, who has worked extensively in New Zealand and Australia in the areas of education psychology, behavior management and Special Needs, has written books on developing self-esteem in young people, as well as mentoring adolescents.
The following 12 points include some of the ideas Lou has shared over the years to help anyone working with young people develop their resiliency and a healthy self-esteem:
- React calmly and constructively to mistakes, errors and disappointments;
- Overcome setbacks and adversities;
- Display confidence in their interpersonal relationships – their ability to make friends and maintain friendships;
- Have greater belief in their ability to achieve their goals;
- Set themselves realistic goals;
- Persevere at striving for their goals in both the good and the bad times;
- Are prepared to take ‘acceptable risks’ ie, engage in tasks they haven’t attempted before; tackle old tasks in novel ways; engage in tasks that there is a good chance they might fail at;
- Are more likely to actualize or use the top 10% of their performance potential;
- Are less likely to be inhibited in their performance by an underlying fear of failure;
- Respect their health and have a healthy body image;
- Are able to resolve conflicts positively;
- Are able to communicate their ‘real self’ to others assertively.
This is a helpful checklist for mentors, as it will ensure that a young person experiences a holistic mentoring journey as he or she seeks answers to the many questions young people are asking as they journey through adolescence and as their brains are developing.
Remember to comment on the young person’s EFFORTS and refrain from making judgmental comments aimed at the character of the mentee and you will build strong trust.
Turn every mentoring experience into a learning opportunity.
Work with your mentee to find creative solutions to the challenges they face and you will be teaching resourcefulness, as well as preparing them for their career pathways beyond school.
Guide your mentee towards self-trust – belief and confidence in his or her ability to face and master trouble.
Always carry the flame of the mentor’s spirit: an unseen, affirming influence, combined with positive energy. and you will be transforming the lives of young people.
Instead of feeling fear, these young people will be able to step out into the unknown future equipped with the skills to deal with any challenges they might face.
This is the power of mentoring. Young people feel self-empowered.
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.