Do You Want To Prepare Your Son or Daughter for a Happy, Healthy and Successful Life?
Are you the parent of a teenager or young adult and want to ensure that they are ready to go out into the world and meet life’s challenges confidently? Perhaps you want to prevent the stress of relationships, schoolwork and career paths from becoming overwhelming. Or, maybe you want to make certain your child can manage personal responsibilities, set healthy relationship boundaries and navigate a growing world of electronic distractions. Do you want your child to benefit from the rewards of self-actualization, delayed gratification and the sense of pride that comes from overcoming obstacles to success?
Perhaps your teenager is struggling with low self-esteem, anxiety or depression and you want them to learn that their emotions and negative thoughts do not define them. Are you concerned about the lure of drugs and alcohol and want to keep them safe, healthy and motivated? Or, it could be you are worried about the negative effects that social media and instantaneously shared information could be having on your child. Perhaps, your teen is acting more irritable, isolated or emotionally inaccessible and you want to understand if it’s just a normal phase or a cry for help. Do you wish you could confidently ensure your teen’s wellbeing and equip them with the tools and skills they need for a successful transition into adulthood?
Raising a Teenager or Young Adult Can Be a Confusing, Exciting Experience
Most of us can remember what it was like to be a young person struggling with the intricacies of high school life, college planning, or working our first job. Fitting in, developing a unique identity, navigating relationships and learning to balance responsibility with pleasure are challenges almost every teenager has to handle. But, every subsequent generation of young people also faces new obstacles and pitfalls that their parents did not.
Today, young people must deal with the modern distractions of constant technological stimulation, the repercussions of instantaneously shared information and pervasive obsessions with self-image and social media. In addition, the increasingly competitive nature of academic expectations, the pressure to choose the right career and the emphasis on self-reliance can cause unparalleled stress in a young person’s life. Coupled with the fact that stress-related depression and anxiety in teenagers is becoming more prevalent than ever, the emotional and mental wellbeing of your child becomes paramount.
Being able to identify challenges, communicate with empathy and help them overcome obstacles on their own can be a tremendous benefit to a young person’s development. Fortunately, with the help of an experienced youth mentor equipped with the professional skills of a counselor, you can improve your child’s chances of a happy, healthy and successful life.
Youth Mentoring Offers Direct Guidance and Support
Teenagers and young adults have a natural resistance to seeking help from external sources. Whether it’s the advice of their parents or the guidance of a professional, young people are often wary of trusting their older counterparts. They want to forge their own paths, solve their own problems and assume power and control over their lives, which can make things complicated for parents who just want to help. Mentoring for youth honors this drive for independence and prioritizes building a foundation of trust between young adults and their mentors. By creating a trusting relationship with an objective adult, teens and young adults can feel more comfortable accessing the valuable resources around them and begin to actualize the power, control and success they seek.
All relationships revolve around trust, so I like to start our sessions by building a mutual foundation of credibility and honesty. Acting as both a teen counselor and a mentor, I always treat the information they divulge with the privilege of confidentiality so they can speak earnestly and authentically. After establishing a rapport, your teen and I will discuss their immediate and long-term goals, their interests and aspirations and how to best approach success in those areas. We’ll look at possible academic, relational or familial tension and explore ways of resolving those sources of stress with a focus on repeating those triumphs in the future. We’ll also work on developing healthy decision-making strategies, address any possible psychological conditions and strengthen communication skills so that your teenager can vocalize needs and concerns without conversations turning into conflict.
Unlike traditional teenage mentoring programs, my approach combines the healing strategies of teen therapy with the real-world applications of professional mentorship. If your child is having trouble getting that first job, I can actually provide hands-on assistance with the application process. If they are struggling with low-self esteem or self-worth issues, we can engage in cognitive behavioral therapy techniques so they realize that they’re not defined by their negative thoughts. If they are facing a personal or relational crisis, I can be there on the phone with them at a moment’s notice, offering a voice of reason that calms their emotional distress. My purpose is to meet your teen’s individual needs, whatever they may be and however they may evolve during our work together.
I understand how difficult it can be to raise a child and balance respecting their independent development with ensuring their wellbeing. Youth mentoring can give you, the parent, the assurance you need to feel that you are doing everything you can to equip them for success. In me, your child can find an ally who seeks to understand their challenges, validates their concerns without judgment and helps them achieve their goals.
I am considering youth mentoring, but I still have a few concerns…
I think my kid would rather rely on his friends than a life coach for teens.
While mentors do share similarities with a life coach, mentoring offers much more than just talking or advice. I offer your teen a model of adulthood that can teach them productive communication skills and real life strategies that they can put into action immediately. Put bluntly, kids have a natural ability to spot a fake, so what we do in sessions has to be real—it has to be effective and speak to them on a human level. I cultivate relationships built on authenticity, which can flip their expectations of the power dynamic they expect with an adult. They can come to trust that adults will view them as the unique people they are, which encourages them to accept guidance and motivates them to actualize their own success. Once they feel they are respected and acknowledged, your teen can take careful, productive steps into their own adult lives.
Can youth mentoring really “fix” my teenager?
Despite our best intentions, parents can often fall into a pattern of assuming we know everything about our children. We tend to minimize how our children feel and play down the challenges they face. But, helping your teenager prepare for the adult world is a bilateral process that requires cooperation on all sides. All parties have to be well-informed, empathetic and able to communicate and respond to each other’s needs, especially when someone is dealing with anxiety or depression. The goal of mentoring teenagers and young adults is to provide a safe space for young people to be heard, understood and validated so that feelings can be named, challenges vocalized and needs met.
Shouldn’t I, as a parent, be able to help my kid, myself?
Raising young people can be a naturally confounding experience. It’s frustrating not knowing what to do to help yourself or someone you love. And, although parents can feel immense pressure to have all the answers, the truth is that none of us do. Naturally, it can be scary for a parent to admit that they might need help. But, dealing with social, developmental or psychological issues sooner than later is in the best interest of your child’s immediate and long-term wellbeing. Teenage mentoring programs can help you and your son or daughter find the answers and guidance you need.
The Benefits of Mentoring Can Be Long-lasting and All-Encompassing
If you would like help ensuring that your son or daughter is well-equipped to make a smooth and successful transition into adulthood, I may be able help. Please call 303 717 7821 or email contact me for a free 15-minute consultation. I would be happy to address any questions or concerns you may have about my approach to mentoring young adults and teenagers.