Blending Support and Challenge
Fostering healthy growth is a balancing act, because the process of development, for anyone, is alternatively exhilarating, disconcerting, satisfying, frustrating, and terrifying. If the environment contains too much challenge, young adults will retreat into old habits, lacking the safety to experiment with new ways of thinking. If the environment provides too much support, young adults will lack the experiences that expose and question the limitations of their old ways of thinking. Just as young adults are learning that there is no one "right" way to approach problems, their mentors and guides must grapple with there being no one "right" way to help them.
Three Tiers of Influence
All told, the process of encouraging development in young adults can take place at any or all of three levels: