There are only a few weeks left in the Central Texas school year, and it is time to think about closure.
As a mentor, your primary focus is getting to know the wonderful young person for whom you have created a space in your heart. As your relationship progresses from week to week, the farthest thing from your mind is the thought of saying goodbye. Some mentors even imagine that they will someday watch their mentee graduate from high school, and maybe even college!
There are relationships where this happens, but more often than not, the reality is different, and mentoring ends at different times, for all sorts of reasons. The most common reason, life happens. Your mentee moves away suddenly, it is no longer feasible for you to leave the office to mentor at lunch once a week, or sometimes a mentee’s poor school attendance makes it impossible to continue. Or, sometimes the mentor or mentee realizes that mentoring just isn’t what they imagined and the relationship is cut short due to dissatisfaction.
The natural breaking point of a mentoring relationship is the best time to have a healthy goodbye. For example, when mentors and mentees agree their relationship will end when he/she moves into middle school, or high school, or closure is planned in advance due to a pending move. Closure is a stage in the relationship that cannot be skipped over. As the adult it is your responsibility to plan for closure with your mentee and that it happens well! Sometimes researchers talk about good closure as “starting a relationship at the beginning with the end in mind.”
How can you plan ahead for the healthiest closure? Continue reading