Techniques When Mentoring Kids

Being a great mentor takes time, effort, and genuine care. You can do many different things to be an effective mentor and contribute to your team. Here are a few mentoring techniques to give your best in the role.

Take a Genuine Interest in Your Mentee as a Person

The key to being a good mentor is to become a cheerleader. This can be done by asking questions, listening to the answers, and providing feedback and suggestions. The best mentors also find a way to relate to their mentees on an emotional level. This helps them feel like they are not just sitting across from another person but chatting with a regular friend about valuable topics.

Celebrate Your Mentee’s Achievements

Celebrating your mentee’s achievements is important because it promotes growth, optimism, and confidence. You should be a source of encouragement and motivation for your mentees to keep working hard toward their goals. Celebrating your mentee’s achievements helps them realize how far they have come and how much they have learned from working with you.

Set Expectations Together in the Very Beginning

It’s essential to ask your mentee what they expect in your mentoring relationship. When someone is a new mentor, they are often afraid that they will set their expectations too high and end up disappointed. 

By stating the guidelines at the beginning of the relationship, any worries become nullified by giving the pairing time and effort to develop into something amazing.

Share Your Journey

One of the best ways to help your mentee is by sharing your journey. This will allow them to see that they are not alone and can be successful. Sharing your mistakes will allow them to learn from the experience and see how their own mistakes can be better avoided in the future. Sharing your successes with them will encourage them to go after their dreams, giving them confidence that it is possible.

Seek Out Various Resources to Help Your Mentee Grow

When mentoring kids, ensure they are exposed to different tools and methods to help them grow. Find blogs or articles to read that will apply to their skill set and point them in the right direction. 

Share Your Journey

One of the best ways to help your mentee is by sharing your journey. This will allow them to see that they are not alone and can be successful. Sharing your mistakes will allow them to learn from the experience and see how their own mistakes can be better avoided in the future. Sharing your successes with them will encourage them to go after their dreams, giving them confidence that it is possible.

Use Your Instincts

The first step to being a great mentor is to use your instincts. Just be yourself, and try to act as a friend. This attitude makes an incredible difference in how well you will be seen by the team you mentor. People want genuine and authentic people in their interactions, not a mentor lecturing them.

Focus on the Positives

Focusing on the positives in your mentee and not just what they are doing wrong is important. If you point out the things they are doing right and ask them how they can improve their skills, they will feel like their improvement is valued.

Be Willing to Go Outside Your Comfort Zone

It’s important to remember that being a mentor can be challenging and scary. You want to be someone people can trust, but you also don’t want to put yourself in a position where you are vulnerable. Being a mentor means putting yourself out there, making mistakes, and learning from them to become a better person.

Remember To Real Listen and Be Empathic

Have empathy for your mentee because they may be going through something really hard. Empathy means understanding what it feels like to be in their shoes. This is more helpful than telling them what they should feel or how they should feel. Most of the time, they don’t have anyone willing to listen to what they say and care about them as much as you do.

Be Responsible

As a mentor, you are in a unique position to shape a child’s life. One way to do this is to reinforce their good qualities and eliminate habits that hold them back. If you want your mentee to become a leader, show them how by modeling leadership and encouraging them to try new ways of doing things.

Keep Learning

Keep learning to continue developing yourself in the role of a mentor. Learn the various aspects and time management skills that your mentees will need. Keep improving your knowledge by reading articles, books, and blogs. Find ways to make your mentees feel more at ease when speaking with them about personal topics such as private schooling and family history.

You can also talk about what you are trying to learn from each other. One of your roles as a mentor is to help kids understand what it means to be an adult who makes unwise decisions, makes mistakes and learns new lessons.

Give Mentoring a Priority

If you have to wait for the kids to ask for help all the time, it creates a massive barrier to effective mentoring. When they approach you with a question or problem, make sure they see you as an authority figure willing to give them advice or answer their questions quickly and directly.

Also, make yourself available to your mentee. Set up a phone call, or allow them to drop by your office if convenient. Educate them about their role in the role of being a mentor and how you plan on helping them succeed.

Decide the Structure of Your Mentorship

How much time will you spend on it? Will you have several meetings a week or just once a month? Do you want this activity to be more informal, relaxed, formal, and structured? These are all questions to address when planning to coach and mentor kids.

Deliver Honest and Genuine Feedback

Mentoring is a tough job, and staying consistent is not easy. Be authentic, and don’t be afraid to deliver feedback. This means giving honest and genuine feedback to teach kids how to improve themselves, even if it means you may make them feel bad.

Be a Role Model

When mentoring kids or young teens, be sure to lead by example. You should model positive behavior, show respect and kindness, practice patience and reasoning, and focus on the here and now rather than on what might happen in the future.

Establish Respect for Each Other

By establishing mutual respect, you and your mentee can work together to navigate the venture. By setting up ground rules and sharing a set of expectations, you make sure that all of your perspectives are heard, respected, and understood in the relationship.

Let Your Mentee Do the Driving, and Don’t Be Afraid to Challenge Them

Step back briefly, and let your mentee work through the issue. You might think you know what’s best for them, but it’s important to allow time for your mentee to evaluate and make decisions. This approach can help clarify issues often complicated by emotions and hurt feelings.

Be Enthusiastic

Be enthusiastic about your role as a mentor. You don’t need to be an expert in the area, but there should be excited that you are teaching children in your classes. Kids are more likely to respond to enthusiasm than judgment, and you may be surprised by how quickly your heart opens up when you start to let your guard down.

Support Your Mentee

You are encouraging a person, not trying to kick them out. And they are coming to you because they know that you have been where they are and can provide practical advice and guidance.

Many people fail at the mentor/mentee relationship, especially in their first few times, because they get frustrated with what seems like wasted effort or seeming lack of progress, which leads them to downplay or discount the value of mentoring altogether. However, you can’t blame your mentee, but you can help them get back into a game they may have lost their way on.

Letting Go

It’s important to remember that you may not be able to solve all of your Mentee’s problems directly. They are growing, and you are no longer relevant in their life. It hurts, but it’s time to let them go and move on with their own lives. The only reason is that they would grow faster without you by their side.

Above all else, a good mentor cares about their mentee’s success and well-being. Whether this comes as a shoulder to cry on, some hard truths to get them back on track, or just a helpful push in the right direction, a good mentor knows that kindness and honesty are needed most. And above all, they listen — really listen — because there is no cookie-cutter way to solve problems or achieve your goals.