The school year begins here in Central Texas, and Seedling’s Promise will affect more young lives than ever. This post deals with the power of memory and those “always” experiences that stay with us through our lives.
Making the Most of Always
When we invite mentors to describe the mentors of their own youthful experience, the sentences frequently begin, “He would always…”
In our annual survey question asking mentees to name the best thing about the mentor, students often start with “She always…”
When anyone reminisces about friends of the past, the stories may start, “We would always…”
A mentor can help anchor a child through changes large and small as well as help create special memories by establishing age-appropriate rituals for mentoring sessions.
A ritual can be as simple as beginning each visit by asking each other, “What was the high point of your week?” and “How was your low point?” One mentor in a longstanding match set the tradition that every birthday and Christmas would be marked with the gift of a book. Another, knowing that chocolate cake is the favorite dessert, brings a big slice to share on the yearly anniversary of the match. Another pair sings a special song together at the end of every meeting.
One experienced mentor was unsure about the young child’s interest in the match until one day, when he skipped his usual practice of tousling the child’s hair as a good-bye, he was touched by the child’s whining complaint: “You forgot to tousle my hair!”
In a continuing match, the first session can include a review of favorite moments from last year and a conversation about what you and your mentee might like to establish as your special ritual or tradition.
Enjoy the year, and the Seedling’s Mentor Directors will always be there to assist, encourage, and answer any questions you may have.
~Seedling’s Mentor Program Staff