Monday, January 16, 2006


New Year, New Goals - “Helping Young People Set Goals”

We had quite a few parents email us about the last post regarding goals. Here's a follow-up to that post. Please keep your emails coming!

Biz4Kids products stress the importance of setting goals, writing them down and communicating them with others. Your role as a mentor means that the youth looks up to you, respects you and mirrors your actions. You are an essential element to completing these goals.
The importance of positive communication cannot be stressed enough especially when discussing goals. Send the message to the youth that says, “you are capable.” To do this successfully you must be aware of the builders and barriers concept.

Using BUILDERS in conversation with young people creates a positive message.

· Check on the youth often and ask about the progress he or she has made.
· Explore the “What? Where? When? How?” questions to identify how the youth perceives the situation.
· Invite the special uniqueness of the youth and encourage the youth to do things in his or her way.
· Celebrate by recognizing progress and encouraging any progress made even if it is minimal.
· Respect is seeking information on what the youth thinks, understands, or feels about a situation and then accept those thoughts.

Avoid BLOCKERS in conversation with young people.

· Assuming that you know what the youth thinks or how the youth will respond.
· Rescuing steps in and explains something rather than letting the youth discover for themselves.
· Expecting sets high standards and then points out the failure of the youth to achieve.
· Knowing wants the youth to read your mind or to know what you would have done.
· Directing gives very specific instructions so that the youth can only do it your way.

Examples of Builders and Barriers

Assuming - “I didn’t tell you because you always get upset.”
Checking - “Although I know this has upset you before, I need to check how you will deal with it this time.”

Rescuing - “Don’t forget your lunch.”
Exploring - “What will you need to have ready for lunch today?” “When will you put your lunch together?”

Directing - “Pick up your shoes.” “Put that away.”
Inviting - “I would appreciate any help you could give me in straightening up the room.”

Expecting - “I was expecting this room to be spotless.”
Celebrating - “I appreciate the effort you have made to clean up this room.”

Knowing - “You know better than that! Surely you realize!”
Respect - “What do you think of _____?” “Help me understand______.”

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