Category | Mentoring Youth

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According to a study of Big Brothers, Big Sisters in the USA, one of the largest mentoring organizations in the world

  1. Be a friend
    • Don’t act like a parent
    • Don’t try to be an authority figure
    • Don’t preach about values
  2. Have realistic goals and expectations
    • Focus on overall development, not performance and change
    • Center initial goals on the relationship itself
    • Emphasize friendship over performance
  3. Have fun together
    • Youth spell love – TIME
    • Informal activities lay the foundation for formal ones
    • Shared activities become great discussion starters
  4. Give your protégé voice and choice in deciding activities
    • Help them to explore possibilities and then make their choices
    • Listen more than you talk
    • Question more than you Preach
  5. Be positive
    • Praise and encouragement build self-esteem
    • Be supportive rather than critical – focus on solutions rather than problems
  6. Let the protégé have much of the control over what the two of you talk about
    • Don’t push, be patient
    • Be sensitive and responsive to cues
    • Let them know that can confide in you without you becoming judgmental
  7. Listen
    • Let youth vent without criticizing them
    • When you listen they see you as a friend, not an authority figure
  8. Respect the trust your protégé places in you
    • Respond in ways that show you understand. This is not the same as agree
    • Reassure the protégé that you are there for them
    • Advice should not be dispensed but mutually discovered
    • If you have to convey concern or displeasure, do it with caring and understanding
    • Sound like a friend not a parent… youth easily discern the difference
  9. Remember your relationship is with the youth and not the youth’s parent
    • Maintain cordial contact, but you are not there to be a spy for parents. You are there to be a champion for the youth
    • Keep your focus on the youth
    • You are not there to bring about the parents wishes, but to help the youth discover their potential
    • Be non-judgmental about the family
  10. You are responsible for building the relationship
    • Take responsibility for making and maintaining contact
    • Don’t expect adult to adult relationships

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