Teenagers are today at crossroads. On the one hand there is the path that lies ahead for them based on the teaching of their parents. On the other is the path that beckons them based on what they pick up online, on social media and from their peers as well. They now need to choose their path.

What confronts them is a dichotomy between what they have learned from their parents since childhood and the new things they are rapidly learning from their peers and getting influenced. It is a difficult situation that it looks like, and yet it need not really be that way.

We have an emotional mind and a rational mind. There is a need to have them work in synchrony rather than opposed to each other. A lot of good advice that is given is stored in the rational mind. A lot of inputs from peers, the internet and social media are processed by the emotional mind. This is where a healthy balance needs to be struck. And this is also where the role of a mentor comes in.

A mentor actually combines the best of both worlds. They have the experience like the parents have and yet have a deep insight into how young minds function and are therefore in a position to provide good inputs that are well balanced. A good mentor is somebody who opens the mind of the protégé to various possibilities and facilitates the process. The decision is ultimately taken by the protégé. It is important that this happens because the ownership for all the decisions has to be taken by the protégé.

Therefore, the crux of it all lies in the choice of mentor. A rightly chosen mentor can make all the difference to the career path and future of the protégé. So, what are the qualities of a good mentor?

Competence, credibility, and a high level of emotional intelligence are all qualities that must be possessed by a good mentor. Competence makes them professionally qualified to be a mentor. Credibility is very important to have an assurance that they will provide the right guidance and have the best interests of the protégé at heart. And what of Emotional Intelligence? That is an entire topic in itself meriting different treatment. Nevertheless, at the outset, it must be mentioned that for a mentor it is important that they must have the ability to build a good rapport with the protégé, must have a deep empathy and should also be able to connect tactfully with the protégé.

What is the responsibility of teenagers? It is to ensure that they work with focus and logic in order to make the right choices. It is when they do this that they will actually be able to progress in the right direction and also at the speed that they want. Today, there are many more options available than there were earlier. Equally, there are many more distractions and pressures. And they have to make the right choice.

About the Community Member:

Creative Kabira is an initiative formed with a belief that person is born great and  is capable of designing his or her own life. We want to want to witness a magical world by giving that space to people to be themselves and manifest their uniqueness which will ultimately uplift humanity and save ecology. This article is contributed by our very own young at heart community member Mr. Milind Kher. He is an expert in Emotional Intelligence.