Good Morning! Here’s the Monday Morning Blog!
Did you get a chance to touch base with that teen or young adult in your life last week? When you get a chance, ask your teen about what the word diversity means to them. Acceptance of people who are different from us is important for our country to move forward and come together. Maybe you and your teen want to help by being accepting and inclusive of others. Find out what your teen or young adults’ thoughts are about it.
August’s Theme – Summertime Fun
“In the summer, the days were long, stretching into each other. Out of school, everything was on pause and yet happening at the same time, this collection of weeks when anything was possible.” — Sarah Dessen
When I think back to my summer vacations from school, I remember spending my time in summer softball and marching band practice. I also remember taking vacations with my family to see my grandparents in Washington, DC.
It was time where I was taken out of the structure of a school day and put into more of a slowed down version of life where I could make choices on what I wanted to do before heading back to school.
In this last month of summer vacation, I am going to focus the blog on Summertime fun. Summer isn’t over yet, there is still some time to get a couple more activities in. Check out my mentor page and see how I am doing it Selma P. Verde – Mentor Page
What makes a person or story inspiring?
I call these posts Inspiring Stories. What makes a person or a story inspiring? I think a story is inspiring when it is about something that a person doesn’t normally do, and it gives the reader an idea that maybe it is something they could do. Or it is the story about a person’s journey to get to that remarkable event or to something that changes their life.
If your teen is involved in any activities during the summer, there are adults who are helping them to succeed. Whether it is a baseball coach or a mentor at the community center who may be helping them in their volunteer role, they both have a place in our teens lives that is influencing them and helping them find their strengths and learn more about themselves.
Coaches and Mentors
A coach and a mentor are very similar in what they do.
Coach – A coach organizes amateur and professional athletes and teaches them the fundamentals of a sport. He or she trains them to compete as a team or individually.
Mentor – A mentor shares their experience, knowledge, skills and experience to help someone develop and grow. They typically help their mentee find their own solution but become more direct if needed.
These adults tend to spend a lot of time with our teens and act as possible adult role models in their lives. The goal of a good coach or mentor is to come alongside the parents in a youth’s life to support them through learning about their passion and ultimately making their own life choices.
Let’s start with coaches
Coaches organize teams but also work with each player individually if needed. However, the pointers that they share aren’t just about how to play the game.
I remember my softball coaches pulling our teams together and teaching us skills and life lessons. Things like,
Skills for how to play the game and ideas for how to improve
In softball, it takes more than one player to play the game. We need to work together to be successful.
Winning and losing. We win as a team, and we lose as a team.
Sitting the bench sometimes is best for the team. It isn’t all about me as the player, it is about the team.
A coach’s importance in our teen and young adult’s lives is to be that adult who teaches those lessons in a context of a sport that our teens are good at and love to play.
Then there are mentors
Mentors can typically provide real world experience in a choice your teen is getting ready to make or something they want to pursue. It could be a teacher at school. It could be a coach of a sport they want to play. Or it could be an adult who is involved in a program to help teens and young adults succeed.
Mentors may have information about a career path your teen would like to explore because they are currently doing it. Through their experience, they are able share how they got there which may help them decide if it is something they want to do.
Many mentors for teens are the leaders and coordinators of local programs that meet regularly with teens and young adults to provide a forum to talk outside a school or home setting. This can be a safe place for them figure out somethings about what they want to do or be.
Did you know that 52% of mentored youth are less likely to skip school? Youth with mentors have an increased likelihood of going to college, better attitudes toward school, increased social and emotional development, and improved self-esteem. So, having a mentor involved in your teen’s life can not only be helpful, but could go a long way to helping them succeed.
Why are they inspiring to us?
The sucess of any great team is not only attributed to the abilities of the players, but also to the leadership of a good coach. Coaches not only help their teams succeed, but they also help each of their players with their strengths and weaknesses. Through this process they learn a lot about the players they coach, not just about what they can do on the field, but who they really are. They can help inspire them to become better players and better people.
A Mentor can do some of the same things a coach does, but more by guiding them to what they want to achieve. They share their experiences and give pointers on how to get there. They can also listen to what our teens have to say, help them learn more about themselves and inspire them to become the people they want to be.
If these Coaches and Mentors become role models in the lives of our teens and young adults, they take on a pretty important role. They become someone our teen chooses to trust and follow to help them achieve their goals and dreams. I highly encourage all parents to look for good coaches and mentors for their youth – athletic coaches, church leaders, teachers, and other trusted family friends are great places to find them.
Free Books over Labor Day weekend!
Looking for a couple of good reads for your teens?
The Way Series is a coming-of-age series for teens and young adults. It focuses on challenges that teens can face while growing up. The Hard Way is the first book, and it is a relatable story about peer pressure and Shawn’s Way is a relatable story about bullying. These books may help you to start a conversation with your teen about these issues or may give them a story they can read that relates to something they may be facing.
On September 2-5, each of the ebooks in this series will be FREE. Be sure to pick up your copies for the end of summer reads just in time for back to school. It will also give you time to get caught up before book three in the series, The Street’s Way, comes your way in 2023.
Here is a link to my books tab – Selma’s Books. Check it out for more information about this great series for teens and young adults.