Using Mentoring to Strengthen
Families, Children & Caregiver's
All children need caring adults in their lives, and it’s possible to create a relationship based on trust between a youth and an adult who were previously strangers. Research shows that these relationships can promote positive youth development and offer support similar to the kind of support a youth receives from parents or caregivers.
For further information visit, Strengthening Core Life Skills including video and PDF, Building Core Capabilities for Life, The Science Behind the Skills Adults Need to Succeed in Parenting and in the Workplace.
Mentoring, at its core, instills in young people that someone cares about them, assures them they're not alone in dealing with day-to-day challenges, and makes them feel like they matter. Research confirms that quality mentoring relationships have powerful positive effects on young people in a variety of personal, academic, and professional situations. Ultimately, mentoring connects a young person to personal growth and development, and social and economic opportunity. Yet one in three young people will grow up without this critical asset.
Significant Impacts Mentoring has on
Young Children & Young Adults
Mentoring has significant positive effects on two early warning indicators
that a student may be falling off-track:
High levels of absenteeism (Kennelly & Monrad, 2007)
Students who meet regularly with their mentors are 52% less likely than their peers to skip a day of school and 37% less likely to skip a class. (Public/Private Ventures Study of Big Brothers Big Sisters)
Recurring behavior problems (Thurlow, Sinclair & Johnson, 2002)
Young adults who face an opportunity gap but have a mentor are 55% more likely to be enrolled in college than those who did not have a mentor. (The Mentoring Effect, 2014)
In addition to better school attendance and a better chance of going on to higher education, mentored youth maintain better attitudes toward school. (The Role of Risk, 2013)
Other Benefits of Mentorship
A mentor can talk to a child about problems that arise and help distinguish future career goals. A mentor may notice a child simply needs quality time having fun, creating enjoyment and being inspirational. Having a mentor can raise a child’s self-esteem and lead to better performance at school. It can also make your child less likely to drink alcoholic beverages or use illegal drugs.
It can be especially helpful to have a mentor who also has learning and attention issues. Your child can talk to the mentor about anger and frustrations and get suggestions from someone who’s dealt with similar challenges. Some kids are reluctant to reach out for help when they need it. They might be embarrassed about their learning issues. Having a mentor who’s been there can remove that barrier.
Types of Mentors
There are many types of people who could be good mentors. Finding the right mentor might take some time. Do you feel your a good fit for your child? Here are some people you might want to mentor.
A sports coach, art teacher or music teacher
A school teacher
Adults or college students with learning and attention issues (which you may find through an organization like Eye to Eye)
A neighbor or family friend
One of your coworkers
A mentor found through a mentoring organization