13 Ways to uplift young women: Become a Mentor and listen to them
In this week's post, we will talk about the importance of Becoming a mentor and listening to what young women are telling you.
Become a mentor
Some people have never thought about being a mentor. Whether it's due to their lives being overwhelmingly busy or just that the thought has never crossed their minds. I can attest that when it comes to adding new things on my plate, it can be hard to juggle, but not impossible. Mentoring can be based on the availability of your schedule. You do not have to meet daily or weekly! Not to mention with all the latest ways to keep in touch with people, be it FaceTime, texts, emails, conference calls, etc., you still have the capability to connect with young women even if your time is limited. Some young women have little to no positive role models in their lives and would be happy to meet someone who can show them that there is more to life than what's in front of them. They have the ability to be whatever they want to be but may not have the right tools to get them there. They may not even have access to the needed tools or even know what tools are necessary for them to excel. That's where mentoring comes in play. By showing these young women some of the things that you are doing that made you successful, you are planting small yet fertile seeds that can grow into something mighty. My first unofficial mentor was a lady named Ms.Hudson. She was my 3rd-grade teacher. Through my years of school, I didn't think I was anything important or special. Average at most. However, she saw something in me that I didn't see and I took to her instantly. I cleaned chalkboards, I was recognized for awards, and I just fell in love with her and wanted to be the positive lady that she was. I wanted to be a teacher because of her but later changed my mind. However, her interest in me was the beginning of me wanting more out of life. Being a mentor may be daunting to you, but you never know how you will impact your mentee no matter how small the interaction.
Listen to Her
In "13 Ways.." the counselor didn't really help the young lady after she confessed that she was sexually assaulted. It was sort of brushed under the rug because she didn't want to file a police report. Because she wasn't ready to make a change right then and there, he gave her the "my hands are tied" tone of voice. This is what we are often guilty of. If someone can't fix their situation when we think they should fix it, then our hands are tied. We don't want to hear anything else about the issue. A young woman's personality and thought process are still being formulated during the teenage years. If we ignore what they say or treat important thoughts as unimportant things, we can potentially lose their trust and maybe their trust in authority and themselves. Sometimes we begin listening to them but because we know the answer already, we begin over talking or start in on a long lecture about ourselves when we really should be listening completely. You don't want to lose out being the confidant because if they have issues with something that is very serious, they may feel that no one will listen and will deal with it on their own, which can have dire consequences.
Stay tuned for our next post in this series; Encourage Being Unique and Expose to new experiences.