Making Connections: How Mentoring Can Help Young Adults Overcome Social Anxiety and Build Friendships

So many parents who want their child to try mentoring come up with the challenge of encouraging their young adult to try mentoring, especially when of the main issues is social anxiety and making friends. Here are some ways to suggest to your child why mentoring could be beneficial.

Highlight the positive impact that mentoring can have on social anxiety. Explain how mentoring provides a safe and supportive space to help them build confidence and self-esteem, as well as work on communication issues.

You can also point out that since it is online, it is an easy space to practice socializing in a controlled environment.

Moreover, you can point out that these mentors are there for them and will work on whatever the wish to work on, effectively allowing them to be in charge of the process. Explain that a mentor can help them improve their communications skills, work on different forms of anxiety and help them deal with the outside world in a slow steady progress, based on what would feel comfortable to your child. The mentor is there to help your child discover their sense of purpose and direction.

It’s important to assure your young adult that mentoring is not a form of therapy, but rather something different that may benefit them in various aspects of their life. It is action-based. Additionally, emphasize that they have the power to choose their goals, and be in charge of the whole process.

Lastly, it may be helpful to offer your support and encouragement throughout the mentoring process. Reassure them that you believe in their ability to overcome their social anxiety and that you know it is scary to try new things but you believe it is worth a try and you know how hard it is to try new things. They just need to try (one session or four sessions), or an hour session on a video-call to see if this might be for them.

Remember to approach the topic with empathy, understanding, and an open mind.

When you a ready to see if mentoring is the right step for your child, click here.

Author: Ken_Rabow

Ken Rabow is the Mentor's Mentor for Troubled Teens, Young Adults and their Families