Good Morning! Here's the Monday Morning Blog?
Have you had a chance to touch base with that teen in your life lately? Maybe ask them if they could be anything, what would they be? And then take that information and find someone thy can talk to about doing it!
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 help our teens seek out someone who may be able to provide information about it and help them achieve it.
Mentors are people who have real world experience in something 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, advise them on what it takes to get there, or even help them achieve their goals, if they decide to do it.
This month we want to highlight some ideas about finding your teen a mentor and how mentors can ultimately help them succeed in life.
How do I find a mentor?
When you ask your teen what they want to be or what activity they may want to pursue, do you know how to help them do it? Do you have experience in the area they want to pursue? If not, checking in with a mentor could be beneficial for you and your teen.
To find a mentor may seem like a difficult task, but knowing who and what to ask for are two of the main pieces to the puzzle. As a parent, you can be there to support them, but having your teen or young adult involved in the process of finding a mentor will empower them to ask for help from another adult with the things they want to do.
Steps to finding a mentor
According to the Roots Of Action website, here are some things for you and your teen to consider in finding a mentor.
Define the goals and the challenges in pursuing your teen's dream
Find a mentor who knows you and your teen
Ask for what you want
Help build a positive relationship that benefits you and the mentor
Define Goals and Challenges
To have someone help your teen get to where you want to go or to reach for a dream they have always had, the goals and challenges must be defined and communicated to the mentor.
Let's say that you wanted to find a mentor who could help you become an airline pilot.
Goal - to become an airline pilot
Challenges you may see to becoming one
Money to pay for training - a mentor may be able to give you some ideas where to find financial aid
Choosing a place to train or go to school - a mentor may be able to recommend a place to you for flight training. They may have experience at a certain school to share or may have some contacts who have gone to different schools and may be able to help you find one that works for you.
Best way to go about training to become a pilot? - a mentor may be able to talk to you about whether a four year degree program would be best or completing training at a flight school
Find a mentor who knows you and your teen
You may know someone who is an airline pilot already. if you do, reach out to them and do an informational interview. They may be able to talk to you about what it takes to become a pilot, maybe even become your mentor, or be a great resource to finding one.
Ask for what you want
Be sure to ask the mentor or the one helping you find a mentor for what you want. If you want to become an airline pilot, be sure you are getting someone to help you in that area. If the person you are working with knows all about being a military pilot, it may not be much help if becoming an airline pilot is the direction you want to go. If this does happen, politely ask the military pilot to refer you to someone who can help you become an airline pilot. If you have your teen ask for what they want up front, it will help to get on the right track from the start.
Help build a positive relationship
The success of any mentoring relationship is to build a positive and trusting one. Mentoring is not a one sided relationship. Be sure to ask questions and exchange ideas with them. If things don't seem to be working between your teen and the mentor you chose to work with, try to work out the issue with that mentor or terminate the relationship and find another one.
Where can you look for a Mentor?
The where do I look question is another big part of this process. You don't just want to do a basic internet search to see if you can find one. Here are a couple of places to start your search from.
Talk to your teen's guidance counselor for referrals
Sometimes teachers, coaches and counselors could make great mentors depending on what you are trying to achieve. Your teen's guidance counselor at school may have some ideas on who could be someone you could reach out to help find a mentor.
Mentoring.org has the Mentoring Connector. This search engine will refer you to some local programs to find a potential mentor. This resource will give you a starting point on who to talk to, but you would still want to interview any mentor before working with them.
Attend Job Fairs
This option is a great way to network and learn more about what your teen is trying to achieve. Have your teen talk to some of the employers or companies that are doing what they want to do. They may be able to provide some ideas on who could be someone to talk to or even become a mentor, and another benefit is now your teen has a contact with that company who can give them information or even a future job in the area they want to pursue.
Mentors want to help you and your teen
Mentors want to help teens and young adults succeed. Some of the statistics show that teens with a mentor are 52% less likely to skip a day of school. The impact of a mentor on a teen can be something that ultimately leads to their success. Let's help them to achieve the goals and dreams that they have for themselves. If they are looking for help, look into finding a mentor.
My Resources for you
Have you seen the tabs on my website? One is my Mentor page which has some mentor statements related to this month's theme Mentoring Month. Here is a link Selma's Mentoring Page
And the teen resource links that I mention in my monthly Teen Resource posts can all be found on the Resources tab. Here's a link Teen Resources Page
Be sure to take a look and let me know what you think!
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!