An effective youth mentor must be a variety of things including trustworthy, honest, respectful, kind, genuine and caring. Without these traits their youth mentoree is unlikely to really enjoy all of the benefits of a true mentorship. With youth, it is important that you are their role model and turn into one of their confidants. To do this you must be a respectful person and also trustworthy.
A youth mentor is someone that is going to help the youth they are mentoring become a better person. A youth mentor will be a role model for the youth they mentor and it is of the utmost importance that the mentor is a good person who leads a life by example. They will have to do a variety of things to enable their child to follow in their footsteps. Many children are reluctant to actually share anything of great importance with their mentor. However, this is not because they do not want to. This is because they are afraid to. They barely know the person and they just don’t trust them. A youth mentor has to be careful that they are never late for anything and that they make promises that they keep. This kind of behavior will allow the youth to trust the mentor.
One way of being an effective mentor is being a friend to the youth. Although you are trying to help them become a better person and everything, it is important that there is a good relationship that is similar to a mother/father-child relationship or aunt/uncle-child relationship or even sibling relationship. If there is not a relationship between the mentor and the child, nothing will ever be accomplished and the mentorship will be unsuccessful.
Another important aspect of being a youth mentor is being genuinely interested in as well as involved in the child’s life. If you are interested and involved, conversation will be easier and the relationship will be much stronger. This is the best way to be an effective mentor. Another important thing to remember is to avoid criticism unless necessary. It is much better to praise the good and ignore the semi-bad rather than focus on the bad or even the bad and good. Children are often times overly sensitive and if you only praise the good it will help to boost their self-esteems and confidence levels. It will also make them feel more comfortable around you because you obviously like them.
I hope that this has helped you learn how to be an effective youth mentor to a child. I know these tips helped me when I first started and they should help you. I wish you the best of luck.