Creating Mentoring Relationships that Last

Mentoring is effective for youth development when it is done consistently over time.  The Tehama County Mentoring Program is structured through guidance from the Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring, a rigorously researched handbook utilized by mentoring programs throughout the country.

Here are some suggestions from the handbook for creating lasting, effective mentoring relationships:

_DAN0323gIRLS• Maintain a steady presence in the mentee’s life. That means showing up for scheduled meetings or, when that is not possible, telling the mentee inadvance, in order to avoid any disappointment. A phone call, e-mail or fax can help when a face-to-face meeting isn’t possible.

• Focus on the mentee’s needs––not the mentor’s own wants and needs. Mentors should look to improve the mentee’s prospects while respecting the young person’s life circumstances and perspective. This includes not trying to transform the mentee or impose the mentor’s own values on the mentee.

• Pay attention to the mentee’s need for fun.   _DAN0181 mitch

• Get to know the mentee’s family without getting over involved. Mentors need to understand that they are not substitutes for parents.

• Seek out and use the help and support of mentoring program staff.

By contrast, less effective mentors:

• Do not meet regularly with the mentee;

• Adopt an authoritative tone;

• Put more emphasis on changing the mentee’s behavior than on developing a warm relationship based on trust and respect; and

• Try to transform the mentee by imposing a set of values inconsistent with the mentee’s life circumstances.

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