“The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches but to reveal to him his own.”
— Benjamin Disraeli
Often times youth dealing with excessive challenges build emotional walls as a defense mechanism, trying to protect themselves from disappointment and potential further hardship. This can manifest itself in an outward lack of interest, misbehavior or even aggression. In some cases there is a drastic divide between the students and the adult figures in their lives. As mentors, it is our job to display the consistency and kindness necessary to bridge that gap. As mentors start to work with students hiding behind this tactic, it is important to remember that with patience and a consistent presence those walls will start to come down over time..
When met with distance or silence, quickness to anger or frustration right off the bat from your mentee, Edutopia suggests that using these harder instances as an opportunity to create connections rather than consequences fosters positive youth development.
To create significant connections with your mentee, start by:
The video clip above explains the 5 C's of Positive Youth Development, five attributes mentors can inspire within their mentees through making connections. These 5 C’s are the foundation of influential mentoring, using connections to focus on promotion of competence, confidence, connection, character and caring.
Take a look to see how mentors can make a world of difference through positive connections!