Maintaining sobriety is hard work, and no one should go at it alone. That’s why many in support groups reach out to mentors to help them navigate the choppy waters of early recovery.
Just because your teen is young doesn’t mean he or she shouldn’t have someone to reach out to - a neutral party who is there to listen without judgement. Here’s how a mentor can help while your teenager is working toward recovery:
- Mentors Are Positive Role ModelsWhen I was in prison, many of the women I met had children who were out running streets doing every drug imaginable. Why? They weren’t taught or raised to know any better by the adults in their lives. For some of those kids, having a person in the form of a mentor who was living a sober and productive life might have just lead them to do the same.
- Mentors Are Trusted AdvisorsAs a teen, it can be hard to know who to trust, especially when your innermost feelings and struggles are involved. Mentors are objective third-parties – there to give you sound advice and tough love when you need it. But the greatest thing of all is being able to express yourself and know that everything you tell them will be kept confidential.
- Mentors Have Been There, Done ThatThe early days of sobriety are challenging for everyone, so if you could skip doing things the hard way, why wouldn’t you? A mentor has been right where you are and can share all the mistakes he or she made along the way in hopes that they’ll become learning lessons to you. Plus, they’ll understand what you’re going through like few others can.
- Mentors EncourageGoing through adolescence is hard enough, so adding an addiction to the mix can seem overwhelming to a young person. Mentors can help increase a teen’s confidence, inspire them to engage in productive activities and help them stay motivated to accomplish what they set out to achieve – their recovery.
- Mentors Increase Your Chances of SuccessResearch has shown that young people who are mentored have better social skills, get better grades and have more self-confidence than those without mentors. These same young people also have a lower likelihood of succumbing to peer-pressure, especially when it comes to using (or resuming) drugs and alcohol.
So what are you waiting for? Find your teen a mentor! You’ll be glad you did.
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