Mentors can make a big difference in the life of a child in foster care. When you take on this rewarding and challenging role, one of the most important things you can do is let a child know that you are there for them through all the ups and downs in their daily life. Here are 5 strategies that you can use to be a supportive mentor.
Validate Their Feelings and Experiences
Treat your mentee with affection and respect. Listen closely, and let them know that they’re entitled to their emotions and opinions. You can show them they matter, even if you don’t agree with everything they have to say.
It’s natural to want to make life easier for anybody you care about. However, it’s usually more constructive to give your mentee space to develop their own solutions.
Provide Practical Assistance
You can still provide guidance and resources. For example, if your mentee is struggling in school, you can be a sounding board to help them identify their personal obstacles and develop a plan of action. Maybe you can work with them to create a quiet place to study or a system to organize their notes.
Remind Them of Their Worth
Whatever your mentee is going through, you can help build up their confidence and self-esteem. Focus on their strengths and remind them that they are worthy of love.
Of course, your presence is essential. By showing up and building a personal relationship, you show that you care and can be trusted. That may be the most important gift of all, and it’s something you can do regardless of how much money or experience you have.
Find More Strategies for Being a Supportive Mentor
You can make a difference by working with us at TFI Kids Fund. Contact us today to learn more about mentoring opportunities and other ways to help children in need find homes and enjoy a more normal life.