Whilst I have been mentoring young people recently, I have been struck by the importance of encouraging concrete decisions to be made. I don’t think we should be satisfied with young people responding to a challenge with “I’m just going to try harder” or, “I will change” – what we want them to offer is concrete suggestions of what they are going to do that is actually going to make a difference. If they can then demonstrate that change and a difference is made, it is our job as parents and pastoral leaders to then ‘notice’ and applaud them.
When we are wanting to see change in a young person, the conversation should start by discussing specific actions rather than general statements which can often lead to nothing at all. I look back over my time as a pastoral leader and I know that sometimes I accepted a sincere facial expression accompanied by a non-specific action and that often then lead to no change taking place.
Helping our young people to make strong and wise choices is central.