Positive sustained relationships with parents, adults and professionals present a critical resource for children. However, those who are perceived as trustworthy can also provide support that is similar in which a parent provides. For instance, other adults can enhance a child's learning skills and help build their self-esteem and self-control. They can also provide emotional support, advice and guidance about subjects that adolescents might feel uncomfortable or fearful of discussing with their parents.

Instructional counseling programs can be viewed as either a formal or informal mechanism for establishing a positive relationship with an individual or professional who is willing and eager to contribute to the child's development. The very foundation of instructional counseling encompasses flexible, concerned individuals and professionals who are available to young people. Through instructional counseling adolescents and young adults will be more likely to become successful adults themselves. Glancing at the ABCs of instructional counseling, you will find:

  1. Developing a cooperative and nurturing relationship.
  2. Providing a crucial, insightful and ongoing relationship.
  3. Creating a safe and protective environment in which individuals learn trust and benefit from new ideas.
  4. Maintaining positive methods to pass on valuable lessons, knowledge, attitudes and self-esteem to increase self-confidence.
  5. Training people to develop skills, attitudes and positive methods of dealing with people and showing appropriate methods in which to communicate with others.
  6. Affording opportunities to learn skills in a non-threatening, open and honest environment.
  7. Providing a conduit in which people learn to speak in positive ways.
  8. Presenting new opportunities to explore and take risks.
  9. Guiding people to examine major decisions and choices that arise in their lives.
  10. Creating methods to evaluate the skills, attributes and natural talents of a person.
  11. Offering feedback that is positive and constructive for areas that require change.

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