Mentor Tip: Actions to Achieve Goals

Send this message to the e-mentors only.

Subject: Mentoring tips on actions to achieve goals

Below, people with disabilities share their thoughts about how caring adults like you can help young people with disabilities learn to take appropriate actions to achieve goals. Reflect on their thoughts as you mentor young people in our online community.

  • The best way for anyone to teach anybody how to assert themselves is to let them do it. (college student with Tourette's syndrome, panic sisorder, and epilepsy)
  • Keep a positive attitude about the kids' goals, and encourage them to meet those goals. When children don't meet them the first time, stay positive and make sure they know that it's not over and they should keep trying. (high school student with a mobility impairment)
  • Offer encouragement to kids, but let them sometimes fail to get their resiliency in shape before they are on their own in the real world. (college student who is blind)
  • I think kids need to realize that everyone experiences failure....It's how you deal with failure that is important. (graduate student with a hearing impairment)
  • Create goals that have built-in flexibility, and allow room for some trial and error. For example, when I decided to pursue a Ph.D., I developed a backup plan just in case it didn't work out. I find having a Plan A and a Plan B (and sometimes a plan C) really helps me adjust when one goal is unattainable. Knowing that I have something to fall back on relieves a lot of anxiety while I'm working toward my original goal. (graduate student with a hearing impairment)
  • Help your child learn to never give up. (high school student with a brain injury)
  • Remind them of times when they have accomplished something and how good it felt. And help them figure out a way to complete the task by suggesting alternate strategies or asking them to come up with alternate methods. (Ph.D. candidate who is blind)
  • Don't get over-protective—and do not let the disability color every expectation. (computer scientist who is blind)
  • Help kids set realistic (but not easy!) goals. Help children with disabilities learn to do things independently in order to gain self-confidence. (college student who is deaf)
  • Be optimistic, never doubt abilities, be positive, and challenge kids. Focus on the positive aspects, and help them set goals THEY want. NEVER, EVER assume they can't do something. (college student with speech and mobility impairments)
  • I think the attitude of family, parents and grandparents, is very important for how a child approaches life. My family always assumed I could do a lot of things, and I've done quite a few. Basically, parents need to support their child, push their child some without forcing the child to do things that are counter to their own dreams, be available for their child to talk to when setbacks occur, and so on. These attitudes need to be present especially in social things because failures there tend to be much more painful and difficult to overcome. (college graduate who is blind)
  • Parents can help their kids accept responsibility by taking responsibility for their own actions. (Ph.D. candidate who is blind)
  • Responsibilities must be given and consequences must be felt. If responsibility isn't given, a child never learns how to handle it. (college graduate who is blind)
  • Always support and advocate for your child, but don't ever let them think that it is not their problem. Include them in meetings you have with teachers, doctors, and other people. That will teach them to advocate for themselves. (high school student with a learning disability)
  • I think a good way to help kids accept criticism better is to always present positive feedback first....then bring in the constructive criticism. (graduate student with a hearing impairment)
  • Encourage children to get out and meet people. They have to make themselves known. Opportunity is much more likely to knock if it knows the address. (college student who is blind)