Our fast-paced modern way of life is one in which we expect things to happen now…as in right now! If you want coffee, swing by a Starbucks and it’s there for you in minutes. If you want anyone of millions of products, click on Amazon.com and you’ll have it the next day. Don’t like what’s on TV? Go to VOD and watch whatever you want…instantly. On it goes. But we must be careful not to be fooled into thinking that all of life moves that quickly or easily. There is one thing that can’t be rushed and rarely happens by default…maturity.
As young people grow, we automatically see the outward changes that naturally occur in their physical appearance. However, it is what’s happening on the inside that determines a child’s trajectory in life. Ideally, young people learn vital keys to succeed in school, from parents, and from trusted religious institutions. In all too many instances, that’s not happening which leaves young people with a very limited set of skills with which to navigate life’s journey. The result of these deficiencies is well documented, so let’s look at how to overcome and fix the situation.
As an author, speaker, and TV host for more than three decades, I’ve worked with groups and individuals around the globe to help them achieve new levels of success in both business and family situations. The number one lesson I’ve learned from these experiences is that you can’t expect positive change from an individual, at any age, unless you provide both new information and inspiration as to why the change will benefit him or her. So, if we want to help young people succeed in life, we must provide them with three things:
- A caring mentor
- A clear set of life skills that help the young person understand how to overcome challenges and seize opportunities
- Dedicated time where the mentor and young person learn together
If you are reading this, it’s very likely that you have #1 above covered… you are a caring mentor. So, now let’s look at the other two. Some years ago, I wrote two books on raising the next generation [Boy’s Passage – Man’s Journey and Girl’s Passage – Father’s Duty]. I heard from people around the world that they were energized by the books…however, they struggled to know what to teach the young ones under their care and how to slow down long enough to even start the conversation. In response, I created a process I call “Mentoring Moments” and wrote about it in a new book, Mentoring Moments – Life lessons for the next generation.
The plan to help the young ones is pretty simple. Spend one hour per week, sitting down with them, either one on one or in a small group. During that time, talk together about a wide variety of life skills and mature insights on subjects such as being on time, manners, how to negotiate, respect, and many others. Using the mentoring process vs. teaching or worse yet, browbeating a young person, the lessons are learned and retained, and they are much better prepared for success once they are no longer under our care. Remember, a mentor has a maximum of 20 years to lay a foundation that a young person will build up for half a century.
Brian D. Molitor, an author of the new book, Mentoring Moments, is a joyfully married, father of 4, grandfather of 4. He is an Author, Speaker, Trainer, TV Host, and Producer of several shows, including TV4DADS. He is the founder of the Malachi Global Foundation, through which he has 35 years of global experience in strategic planning, leadership development, and training.