It’s NOT About Play; It’s all about RELATIONSHIPS!
Sometimes, mentors might see their sessions as merely an opportunity for children to play. You spend an hour focused on a game or activity, which may suggest your game or activity is the primary reward for the child. It’s not! Mentoring is about time spent with a special adult who shows up each week just to see them. Yes, your time may be dedicated to specific pursuits, but it’s your attention that matters most. This is why mentees prefer to meet with their primary mentors rather than substitute mentors. They seek YOUR care, encouragement, support, respect, and vision.
The relationship (not a particular activity) lays the foundation for your mentee to control impulses, resolve conflicts non-violently, understand the norms of friendships, know right from wrong, and eventually be an able parent. Kudos for investing your time in an intervention that may seem indirect but could be the most important thing in a young person’s life. Remember the fourth grader who said: “Everything is better since I met my mentor.” Mentoring is more than play.