Teens as Mentors – Yes

A mentor by definition is someone who is a trusted advisor or counselor and I fully believe that teenagers have capability to help young people in their daily lives. Teenagers while given the stereotype of being irresponsible and immature in most people’s eyes are in fact a culture full of experiences that better relate to what todays children are going through. Teenagers are better able to cater to what todays children need emotionally, physically, and technologically.
Emotionally teenagers are at a point in their lives where the changes are happening so fast adults think that they can’t keep up but the truth is that teens are merely processing the information taken in from the first 12-16 years of their lives and so have those experiences fresh in their minds to share that with a generation below them. Also their experiences cant relate emotionally better than many adults simply because the age difference is that much smaller and the cultural differences between a teen and the children they mentor are less and so the teen is better able to relate.
Physically the teenager is more in tune to what children like to do in this day and age so while an adult might take a child bowling a teen might take that same child to a fun park or play video games and help the mentor connect at that level. Also due to age a teen is better able to perform some of the physically demanding activities that a child might do daily. For instance an adult might take a child to a park only to sit and watch and make occasional conversation while the child plays ALONE or without his/her mentor. A teen who takes a child to a park will be more likely to actively engage that child in a game or activity rather than be on the back burner.
Technologically a teen is better able to participate and teach a child what to do with a computer or a game or any device that child may own or want to operate simply because todays teens are far better trained in such areas through schools and friends. Adults while they may use these devices on a day to day basis are not using them in the context that a child might use them.
Finally A teenager is more likely to be a child’s friend because of the natural connection between the child and the childhood that the teenager just went through. For children adults are viewed as parents or friends parents not so much as friends but with a teen a child with view them more a brother or a sister which is what a mentor is supposed to be, not an authority figure but a friend a guide for all life has to offer.