Thursday, August 20, 2009

How to Give Students Advice.

In view of my last post it got me thinking. Students may not always listen to advice. Many may push that advice in one ear and send it out the other. Still, what is the best way to give students advice? They always need help, they always ask for help. What is the best way to do it? Trust me, I am not an expert at all but I offer some pointers:

1. Don’t do it all the time. Trust me. When a student feels that all your relationship is about them sitting there and you telling them how to live. They tune out very quick. You need to build trust with a student first. Spend time with them. Why would someone want to take your advice if you have shown no interest in their lives? Pick your times. Even if that student is asking for advice, it may not be the right time to do it then. Pray and get back to them later.

2. Avoid answering quickly. Let them get everything out before you speak. Even asked them what they want for you. Ask them if they want advice at that moment. Sometimes they realize or you realize that what really is going on, is that they just needed to get some stuff off their chests. If it is a real serious issue. NEVER be afraid to tell them that you want to take some time to pray and see what the Lord says about this issue. Never give into the pressure that you have to answer right then and there.

3. Use personal experiences. Students relate more to you if you are being real with them. Don’t be afraid to open up and share your own mistakes and failures. They need to see that you can relate too. If the topic they are needing advice, and you cant relate to, then guide them to an adult who may have had that struggle. For example, I have never had trouble with alcohol. So I help them find advice from a strong believer who can help them.

4. If you are over head. Admit It. You are not perfect. You don’t know everything. Especially everything about the Bible. If you don’t know the answer, never be ashamed to say that you need to research the topic some more and get back to them. Never give wrong advice because you are embarrassed by lack of knowledge.

5. Don’t get defensive back. Students, especially emotional ones, have a tendency to get very defensive, angry when you push them to a higher standard. If you have the same tendency (like I do!) when they start to attack, don’t attack back. It becomes an endless cycle that helps no one. Be patient with them. Stay Calm. Stop and pray if it gets out of control. But keep the focus off the anger.

I hope this helps. They don’t always listen. But we need to keep trying to push our students to higher standards. We must not give up. We must stay focused on the end results of their walk. (thanks Gene!)


StLphotogirl said...

Giving the right advice in the right way can be one of the most challenging things to do. It is very easy to give your opinion but to only give advice that is based firmly in the truth of God's word and prayer is truly something that takes research and wisdom. Plus it's hard to share God given advice if you know that they don't want to hear it in the first place.

jaylickey said...

I read a very helpful book on this topic called "Get Outta My Face!" by Rick Horne. A lot of sound biblical instruction that is well reinforced by years of youth work. It is well organized and full of insightful points.

crazydaisy said...

Right on, Jimmy. AND I find that this is applicable with ALL humans! Adults, business people, and youth. And having God's truth to back it up is right on the money. Even if I don't know the answer, I know for sure where to look! Thanks for sharing, Jimmy!!!

StLphotogirl said...

My advice to you is that you should post another blog entry because it's been over a week and I want to find out what else you have to say.

Terrace Crawford said...

Good stuff bro.

--Terrace Crawford