The term mentor is used to describe all sorts of roles. Big Brothers Big Sisters provides one-on-one mentoring relationships to children in our community. Here are some tips on how to be an effective mentor.
The most impactful part of being a mentor also happens to be the easiest: showing up. Kids value consistency above all else. You do no have to lead the most exciting life or have the most accomplishments to impress your “Little.” They are impressed that you follow through and do what you say you are going to do.
Sometimes mentors feel pressure to have deep conversations from day one. Kids need time to build relationships. Not every conversation should be about working toward a goal. Relationships have to be built in conversations about ice cream and television and books before they can make their way into grade-point averages and peer pressure.
This one is not as difficult as it seems. We want mentors to feel ready to embrace the challenges and joys of being a mentor so we provide them with online and in-person training, along with staff guidance throughout the match. You have questions; we have resources. But ultimately, the best thing is to learn from your Little. They will teach you the best ways to talk to them, relate to them and have an impact on them over time.
Contact us at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Milwaukee if you or someone you know could be a good mentor.