Having a good role model is an important part of growing up to be a healthy young adult. Since some teens don't have quality role models in their lives, they may need a mentor or guide as they move into early adulthood. If you feel the need to mentor a teenager in your community, you can use a positive attitude and a strong moral foundation to guide them in the right direction in life.
Method 1 of 3: Build the relationship
Step 1. Get to know your mentee through fun activities
They can go out to eat, play basketball, or hang out in the park. It should be a fun time for both of you, so pick an activity that you both enjoy.
They can go see a movie, stroll in the mall, visit an arcade, or ride their bikes around town
Step 2. Build trust with your mentee by keeping your word
Make sure to show up for appointments on time, keep activities scheduled, and reply to their messages as quickly as you can. If you're ever in a rush or need to cancel, contact him as soon as you can.
Make sure your mentee knows that you are committed for the long term. If your teen thinks you'll get up and go soon, they probably won't trust you very much
Step 3. Stick to a consistent schedule
Hang out with your mentee on a regular basis so you can talk and know how he is doing. It is recommended once a week, but you can change the frequency to suit the needs of both.
Try to go out with him on a specific day to make it easier to remember. For example, you can pick it up every Thursday after school to spend time together
Step 4. Allow them to give their opinion regarding the activities
Ask him what he enjoys doing to choose an activity that he looks forward to. As you get to know him more, you can start suggesting activities that he likes.
If you're into sports a lot, check out the local teams in the area. If he loves ice cream, take him to a new ice cream shop down the road
Step 5. Don't push it open
If the teen doesn't want to talk yet, that's fine. Allow the relationship to develop naturally rather than forcing something that could become strained.
It may take him a month and even longer to start trusting you, and that's okay. Let it go at its own pace
Method 2 of 3: Communicate
Step 1. Maintain regular contact with your mentee
It is up to you to maintain the relationship, not the teenager. Make sure you have their phone number and an alternate method of reaching out if you need one.
If you live with a parent or guardian, ask for their phone number
Step 2. Be his friend, not his father
You don't necessarily have to be an authority figure in your life. Instead, you should be someone they can turn to with their problems like they would a friend. Don't scold or belittle him. Instead, offer careful advice.
Teenagers already have many authority figures in their lives. If you're trying to be someone else, they probably don't trust you very much
Step 3. Listen carefully to everything you say
You can listen carefully by maintaining eye contact and asking follow-up questions. No matter how much she just tells you about how school went, you should always participate and listen.
- For example, if he tells you about a strict teacher, you can say "Do you think he is strict with you so that you work harder?"
- If she tells you about a fight she had with her mother, you can say, "Why do you think that made her so angry?"
Step 4. Validate your thoughts and feelings
Teens go through a lot, and your mentee may want to vent about school, work, or relationships. Tell him that what he's going through is normal, and offer advice if he asks.
- For example, if you are concerned about a test you will take, you can say, "It's normal to feel nervous about a test. Remember that you have studied as much as you can."
- If you're having trouble with a friend at school, you can say, "Friends go through a lot of ups and downs. However, fighting with a friend is never nice."
Method 3 of 3: Hitting Goals
Step 1. Set realistic goals and expectations
Sit down and talk to the teen about what they want to accomplish with you. Maybe you want to get better grades, apply to colleges, or get a part-time job. Let him know that you will do everything you can to help him reach his goals, no matter how small.
Make sure your goals are realistic. If your teen sets expectations too high for himself, try to make them more realistic
Step 2. Check in regularly to see their progress
After your goals are defined, plan to contact him after two to three months, and five to six months. Ask about what they have accomplished so far and what their plans are for the future.
- For example, if her goal has been to get better grades, ask her about her report card and how she is doing in class right now.
- If her goal has been to get into college, ask her how the applications are going and where she has submitted them.
Step 3. Stay positive
As much as the adolescent lags behind or strays from the path, it is important to see the bright side. If you get discouraged or angry, it will make him feel worse.
Remember that you may be dealing with things that are out of your control, such as an upset family life or strained family relationships
Step 4. Celebrate their accomplishments
Make a great scene when he reaches one of his goals. Treat him to lunch, throw a little party, or buy him a gift to acknowledge his hard work.