Good Morning! Here's the Monday Morning Blog!
Did you get a chance to touch base with that teen or young adult in your life last week? With the holidays just around the corner, be sure to check in and see how they are doing and maybe ask them to help you get a gift for someone or make that special family treat.
December's Theme - Mentoring Month
Sometimes our teens dream of doing something which we may not know much about. When we learn of these activities, we as parents and caring adults can support their dreams by helping them seek out someone who may be able to provide more information about it and help them achieve it.
Mentors are people who have real world experience in something you or your teen may have an interest in pursuing. Whether it be a specific job, sport, dance or other activity, a mentor would be a great resource to give you and your teen some information about it, give advice on what it takes to get there, or even help them achieve their goals, if they decide to do it.
People who work with our teens as a coach or mentor, teacher or counselor, supervisor at a job, or a caring adult are inspiring. They find ways to engage with them and teach them some things that we as their parents may not be able to.
What makes a person inspiring?
What makes a person inspiring? I think a person is inspiring when they reach outside themselves and do things they don't normally do. Whether is be for themselves, or for someone else. Or it is the story about a person's journey to get to that remarkable event or to something that changes their life.
When we talk about adults who help teens succeed, they are reaching outside themselves with that goal in mind. If your teen is involved in any activities during the summer, whether it is baseball or volunteering at the community center, there is a coach or a mentor who have a place in our teens lives that is helping them find their strengths and learn more about themselves. Let's look at the different types of people who work with and inspire our teens.
A coach organizes amateur and professional athletes and teaches them the fundamentals of a sport. He or she trains them to compete as a team or individually. Coaches organize teams but also work with each player individually if needed. However, the pointers that they share aren't just about how to play the game.
I remember my softball coaches pulling our teams together and teaching us skills and life lessons. Things like,
Skills for how to play the game and ideas for how to improve
In softball, it takes more than one player to play the game. We need to work together to be successful.
Winning and losing. We win as a team, and we lose as a team.
Sitting the bench sometimes is best for the team. It isn't all about me as the player, it is about the team.
A coach's importance in our teen and young adults' lives is to be that adult who teaches those lessons in a context of a sport that our teens are good at and love to play.
A mentor shares their experience, knowledge, skills and experience to help someone develop and grow. They typically help their mentee find their own solution but become more direct if needed.
Mentors can typically provide real world experience in a choice your teen is getting ready to make or something they want to pursue. Mentors may have information about a career path your teen would like to explore because they are currently doing it. Through their experience, they are able share how they got there which may help them decide if it is something they want to do.
Many mentors for teens are the leaders and coordinators of local programs that meet regularly with teens and young adults to provide a forum to talk outside a school or home setting. This can be a safe place for them figure out somethings about what they want to do or be.
Teachers and Counselors
Many teens do not like to attend school. So the jobs of a teacher or counselor are made harder by having to deal with that attitude.
Some of these people are able to engage with teens. They talk and listen to what they have to say and get to know them for who they are. They can be that outside set of eyes and ears that help our teen to find confidence in who they are or want to be, which could be exactly the opposite of who we want them to be.
These people also had to step up during the pandemic and continue to educate our teens remotely which was a new experience for them and for us.
Supervisors at jobs
If our teens are working at jobs, they will probably have a supervisor to report to. These people are also inspiring as they may need to motivate our teens to get the job done. In this case they may be motivated by pay, but sometimes supervisors can see skills and attributes that our teen has and are able to put them into situations to use them.
For example, it could be our teen has great leadership skills but others have seen it as a thinking they are better than others attitude. That supervisor may redirect that energy and put them into leadership roles and see if they blossom into it.
These people are the most inspiring. They could be a family member, neighbor, a volunteer at the community center, or many others. They are in the lives of teens because they truly want to help them succeed. Sometimes these adults see that little something in that teen that they can help them achieve or support them to help them achieve it. And by engaging with them, can provide the confidence that they need to pursue that dream they have always had.
Why are they inspiring to us?
If these people who work with teens become role models in the lives of our teens and young adults, they take on a pretty important role. They not only become someone our teen chooses to trust and follow, they also step into this role to help parents raise their teens to be successful and achieve their goals and dreams.
These people are inspiring to me as they can be stepping into a difficult role. Teens are hard to get close to sometimes and we adults need to be better about listening to and engaging with teens to build trust and gain respect. Building these types of relationships with our teens is what I believe will ultimately help them to succeed. They will become more confident in themselves through the support from the adults around them to pursue their goals and dreams.
Be sure to take a moment and thank these people for what they are doing to help your teen and others succeed.
The Way Series a great idea for Christmas giving
Looking for a couple of good teen coming-of-age reads focusing on teen challenges to put under your tree? Check out The Way Series.
Book #1 - The Hard Way - is the story of Paul Jones and his starting his freshman year of high school and how he has to navigate dealing with pressure from his peers to do things to fit in.
Book #2 - Shawn's Way - is a continuation of Paul's journey from The Hard Way but now we meet a new freshman, Shawn Townson, who is forced to navigate being the target of a bully. An upperclassman at his school is taking out his frustration on Shawn.
Book #3 - The Street's Way, is a continuation of The Way Series and introduces Mikala to the storyline as a runaway and homeless teen. To be released in late 2023!
Follow this link to my books tab to learn more about the series and to pick up your copies!