Why Youth Mentorship Matters

The hubby and I binged the latest season of Cobra Kai over two nights.

The Netflix hit series continues the story of The Karate Kid movies 35 years later.

I never watched the films but the show resonates with me, because it tells a compelling coming of age story.

The aspect of the story that resonates with me is when the youth characters – often troubled but full of potential – find a new path through the mentorship of the adult characters, who are also looking for redemption.

Thinking about T, a boy with great potential and challenging needs, you can see how I think about my hopes and fears for his future when I watch the show.

Every youth can benefit from a mentor.

A mentor is described as a caring and responsible adult who can help improve the well-being of a youth by serving as a role model to support their academic, personal and social wellbeing.

In T’s current daily life, he has many mentors – teachers, child and youth worker, daycare staff, and of course, the hubby and I.

Even at age 5, the hubby and I already see and anticipate some of the challenges he’ll have as he comes of age – emotional regulation, academics, maintaining friendship, etc.

A mentor is not a fix-all solution but they can help guide T along the right path, to occupy his time in meaningful and purposeful activity, and to also serve as someone he can look up to and model his behaviour after.

I think about the mentors in my life. One, in particular, gave me a chance when I graduated from university at 23. I can attribute the wonderful blessings in my professional life thanks to this person giving me an opportunity and mentoring me.

I wish for the same in T. Because I do see it – and as evidenced by our painful first day of return to homeschool hell today (more on this later) – that he is going to need hands-on support in the years to come.

I believe that everyone has potential and that one key ingredient in helping one maximize their potential is having someone believe in them and guide them.

Thankfully, we live in a city with wonderful programs for youth, including mentorship programs.

I’m aware of programs specifically for youth with special needs. By the time T is a youth, these programs will likely be even more widely available.

I’m thankful T already has great mentors in his life and I hope for this in every step along his life – especially during the challenging times.

And maybe we’ll get T involved in karate as he gets older too! He certainly has the energy and angst to burn.

11 thoughts on “Why Youth Mentorship Matters

    1. Funnily enough, there’s a character on Cobra Kai named Hawk! I had to do a double take when I first starting reading your blog. 🙂

  1. Having a mentor is always helpful, whether it’s as a youth or even as an adult in the workplace. That’s wonderful that T has such a large support network that consists of many different mentors, all of whom probably bring a different perspective. It’s amazing how big of a difference it can make to have a positive role model and someone who believes in you.

    1. Thanks L! I hope this tradition of mentorship continues for T especially during the pivotal teen years. One step at a time, I guess!

  2. Good point. We returned to homeschool hell yesterday as well, and D’s weaknesses (not to only focus on those, he does have some strengths too, just not as apparent in the homeschool world) are so apparent to me. He is surrounded by a lot of good support these days, but when he grows it would be great for him to have a mentor as well.

    1. Oh no! How long are back with virtual schooling? We are back for just this week for now and I hope that’s it. Good luck with your homeschooling too. I know you’re D’s best mentor! 🙂

      1. Same – just this week and I am hoping that is it. Our school district (I think) figured people were going to travel or visit family instead of stay home for Christmas and better safe than sorry. So Mid-December they made the call for virtual schooling the first week of January. Fingers crossed this is it! Thank you! You for T as well! 🙂

      2. It’s been very painful and I hope this is it. 🙂 Hang in there. Well all get through this somehow.

    1. It’s such a good show. We love it and especially how it ties into the history of the characters and film stories.

Leave a Reply