Teenagers are entering adolescence, the most crucial era of their lives. Teens go through a variety of biological, emotional, social, and psychological changes as they transition from infancy to maturity at this age. These changes frequently make a teenager’s life miserable. There is a strong want to fit in, to be accepted for who they are, to discover their own self, and to understand their own strengths and flaws. Peer mentoring can be extremely beneficial in this situation. It guides young people and makes them feel loved, cared for, and accepted.
Characteristics and Benefits of a Peer Mentoring Program
Peer mentoring is a type of mentoring programme that pairs older and younger youths. The former give the latter with all of the direction, assistance, and support they require to handle the challenges of adolescence. The older teenagers serve as role models for the younger ones as well as mentors. They are not perfect, but because they have gone through the same stage and are likely to face the same problems, predicaments, and challenges in their homes, schools, and communities, they are in a position to offer friendly advice, positive influences, attention, and moral support to these younger teens.
The following features can be found in mentoring programmes in schools, communities, and youth organisations:
• Youth-centered – Every peer mentoring programme is tailored to the specific needs of the kids who will be mentored. Those who come from broken homes, for example, may require additional counselling and recreational activities to assist them divert their mind away from painful memories from their childhood. Those who are having academic difficulties may require more tutorial time.
• Volunteers join a peer mentoring programme – A significant aspect of peer mentoring’s success is the mentor’s and the younger teens’ willingness to participate. The student should not be forced to participate in the peer mentorship programme because it will just complicate his life. To begin, the student must recognise the importance of having a mentor, someone who is older, wiser, and more experienced than he is. Only after recognising this need will he be able to actively participate in the mentorship program’s activities.
• Mentors have a responsibility to keep things confidential – Trust is essential in developing a positive relationship between a mentor and a student; therefore, the mentor must keep things that he and the student discuss confidential. Without trust, it would be difficult for the mentored person to express how he feels and thinks, particularly on highly important issues involving him, a close friend, or his family.
Participating in a Mentoring Program
Joining a peer mentoring programme begins with a desire to be a member of a support group or programme that aims to make positive changes in both the mentor’s and the younger person being mentored’s lives.
If you want to be a mentor, you must first be prepared in every way. Do you have a strategy in place for peer mentoring? Do you know what to do when you’re faced with a difficult situation? Do you have the patience required to deal with those who are going through difficult times in their lives? What would you do if you were faced with situations like an early pregnancy, divorce, or drug addiction?
When you’re ready, the next step is to find a good mentoring programme that fits your needs. You can look for these in your school, in your neighbourhood, or even online. You can also seek references from your professors, classmates, and friends. You can also inquire with the pastor of your local community church or youth organisations in your neighbourhood.