MENTORING YOUNG PEOPLE
My wife and I have four children at university so we know just how hard parenting is.
There are many fears:
Will they be safe?
Will they associate with the wrong friends?
Will drugs or alcohol become a problem?
Will they apply themselves?
Will they be happy?
Have they chosen the right direction?
As parents, we also have the unpleasantness of setting limits and of insisting on behaviour we know is going to serve them well in their lives.
It’s a tough and sometimes thankless job but we love them so we do the best we can.
But, even with our best efforts, we sometimes sense that more is needed and that is where ancient wisdom comes in.
In most traditional societies it was acknowledged that it was the job of youngsters to separate (at least to some degree) from their families in order to come into their own. Initiations formed a vital part of this process and with initiations came mentoring by elders. It was built into the process.
In modern western society, we have no such initiations (or, if we do, they have been watered down greatly in their effect) and we have few built-in mentors.
In traditional African society, for example, each child would know that they had an ‘aunt’ and an ‘uncle’ to go to if they needed something that they weren’t getting from their parents. These ‘aunts’ and ‘uncles’ took on the role of elders to the youngsters and it’s an absolutely vital role.
In modern western society school counsellors and some teachers or sports coaches may sometimes fulfil a mentoring role and some youngsters may be lucky enough to have a relationship with an adult outside the family who acts as a mentor to them.
But many, if not most, don’t have access to an elder.
In this case a mentor or a coach may do wonders.
Being a mentor or coach, there is no stigma and the results that I have seen are tremendously gratifying.
With careful listening and respect comes an automatic increase in self-confidence and with this increase in confidence comes an improvement in mood and a greater willingness to learn how to create the best possible life for themselves.
All of this can be done within the context of respect for the parents and the rest of the family.
If your child needs support and guidance and they are 15 or older, I am here to help.
Book a free 20-minute exploratory session now:
Simply send me an email by clicking here.
Or book it yourself by clicking on the link below:
Or book a one hour session by clicking on one of the links below: