Building trust takes time. A young person may not show it at first, but
your help may be just what is needed. Be persistent.
PRAISE IS POWER: A word of praise in a critical world works miracles in the life of a child.
BOUNDARIES: Most mentoring relationships
develop and flourish without problems. Occasionally, however, something
comes up. Mentors have an important role, but this doesn't include replacing
family or social service professionals. A mentor can help guide a young
person to the appropriate source for additional help.
TRY TO UNDERSTAND
A CHILD'S VIEWPOINT: Even if you don't
share his or her point of view, trying to appreciate it shows you care.
CELEBRATE DIFFERENCES: Experienced mentors report that working with a young person from a different background broadened their own horizons and deepened their understanding of other people and cultures. Sometimes it is the differences that make the difference.
HONEST: Kids know adults aren't perfect.
If you make mistakes, admit it. Say you're sorry. It's a skill a child
may only learn from you.
BE THERE: Just the sound of your concerned voice can make a big difference in the life of a child.
Ask yourself, "What encouragement can I give if my young friend disappoints
himself or herself?" Mentors are in the business of helping young people
make the most of their lives. Allow the child to make a few "growing" mistakes
when they learn new things.
Many children in our communities struggle with self-esteem. Your faith
in them can be the greatest gift you can give.
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