Introduction to Great Mentoring
By Karen Rayne
Conversations about sexual and reproductive health between teenagers and adults can be difficult. Many adults struggle with how to approach these conversations without much guidance. Great Mentoring: Positive Conversations with Young People About Sexual Decisions is designed to support educators, nurses, volunteers, and other professionals who interact with teenagers either directly or in passing as they develop their ability to talk with young people about their sexual decisions.
Beginning with general principles of sexuality education, including self-assessment tools and a theoretical framework for respectful dialogue, and closing with adolescent development and decision-making, this guidebook provides a roadmap for adults who are invested in serving as a short- or long-term mentor for young people. From one-time conversations to longer relationships, Great Mentoring: Positive Conversations with Young People About Sexual Decisions provides a unique perspective of youth autonomy backed up with adult support and insight.
Great Mentoring: Positive Conversations with Young People About Sexual Decisions is a new incarnation of Positive Encounters: Talking One-to-One with Teens about Contraceptive and Safer Sex Decisions, which was written by Amy Vogelaar in 1998. This new version brings that guidebook up-to- date by incorporating technology, sexual and gender identities, and scenarios that will feel accessible and critical to the current conversation. The timeless parts of Vogelaar's original version remain intact, ready to provide support to a new generation of professionals.
Teenagers need conversations with skilled adults who are ready to be mentors. They need to have relationships with adults who will provide them with guidance as appropriate, but who are more focused on supporting the teenager as they develop their own insights and build their decision- making skills. Great Mentoring: Positive Conversations with Young People About Sexual Decisions will create more of these relationships in more places, allowing young people to be healthier and happier while their adult mentors are more skilled and more confident in their skills.