Importance of Mentor in Teenagers’ Life5 min read
No human being is immune to curiosity, especially teenagers who start noticing changes in themselves and their immediate surroundings. Hence, they must always have somebody they can confide in besides parents who can always trust to guide them in the right way and make sure that they relay it when necessary.
This someone is given a unique name and place in everybody’s life called a mentor. A mentor is a trusted adult, besides parents, who are always approachable by the teen.
What is the difference between a mentor and a parent?
Parents must never consider themselves to be inadequate whenever they hear the idea of a mentor. Instead, they must rejoice that a person who can trust even during the child’s most vulnerable phase. Owing to the rebellious nature of most teenagers, the child may sometimes feel hesitant to share certain happenings or seek help when in a dilemma about something the child may be embarrassed about to ask. It is but natural that the mentor may be ‘cool’ or at least appear cool to the teenager because, at that age, the mind finds the less common being more valuable than the parents that the teen may see every day.
Reasons for confiding in a mentor rather than parents
There could be countless reasons as to why a teen may choose to confide in a mentor. The most arguable is an embarrassment in accepting mistakes and not knowing what to do when facing new situations that may be difficult to explain to parents, who tend to get excessively protective for the most insignificant things. Maybe they cannot express how grateful they are to the parents and may use the mentors to express it. The possibilities are endless, and the mentor helps you filter that and only brings the most important ones to notice and saves the “you having to step” in as a last resort.
Unlike parents, who help a child walk the path by holding the little one’s hand, a mentor only counsels and guides the teenager in the right direction. It allows teenagers to explore a little on their own, which also encourages independence in their minds and helps overall character development.
Who is eligible to be called a mentor?
No doubt one may find an exceptionally mature friend in their teenager’s circles who tends to make the right decisions, but that friend cannot be called a mentor as they certainly lack the most prized possession, real-life experience. The most suitable candidates for being a mentor are ideally adults who have good relations with you and are regularly in touch with you so that they may keep you updated about the teen’s wellbeing.
It could be the teenager’s cool aunt and uncle who know a lot about the current fad and effortlessly speak as equals and drop the generation gap. They will always be bound to the inclination to guide the child in the right direction as they treat them as their own. It is supplemented by the fact that they are your siblings and will always be bound to help with pure intentions.
Perhaps your family friends who the teenager finds remarkable and easily communicate with all the age groups or the elderly couple in the neighborhood who children approach daily to listen to anecdotes and stories with morals that help make daily decisions and promote character enhancement.
A good mentor must talk on any topic without instilling a sense of hesitation, embarrassment, or disgust. Unfortunately, it is a quality that many lack and is one of the principal evils that cause miscommunication among the parents and can strain the relationship between the teen and parents.
A mentor must not aim to replace the relations but always try to make the teen appreciate parental relations, respect them, and encourage them to approach parents when anything troubles them.
Also, try to communicate clearly without leaving any details behind, irrespective of the fact that the teen might be wrong. A child should never fear the consequences as the first task hard-wired into a parent’s brain is to protect the child and make sure they are safe and sound before giving them an earful.
Miscommunication and misunderstanding
The communication between the mentor and parents must be exclusive and crystal clear to keep the boundaries clear and trust intact. An instance of where it may save you is where you or the teen may think that the mentor is too harsh. Still, in reality, the mentor only meant well for the child and tried to unlock the child’s inner potential by pushing them and testing their limits but had their safety nets that the parents may have failed to see.
It is not uncommon that both parents and the teen may choose to invest their faith in the wrong person as they may be a professional at hiding the true intentions behind the overshadowing appeal. This situation can prove more damaging than having a heated argument with a teen over a petty topic.
Unfortunately, such situations are allowed to fester for a long time. It gives enough time for the deceiver to brainwash a teen who has already been confused. Moreover, turn them against parents so that all the well-meant warnings will be perceived as heavily biased statements by jealousy and baseless retaliation. For such situations, the parents and teens must work out a failsafe that ensures the teenagers are comfortable approaching them whenever they do not feel comfortable with the mentors and their intentions. Furthermore, it gives the parents enough time to evaluate the relationship between the mentor and child to ensure that they do not take advantage of the already confused minds to commit darker deeds and turn the teenagers into goons to promote the mentor’s dark agenda.