What to Expect

Overview Teen Mentoring
We will speak on the phone to discuss you and your child’s particular situation, as well as any concerns, interests, and goals you may have as the parent/caregiver.  Next I will meet with your teenager in-person to see if there is chemistry between us. 

As with any relationship, sometimes there is chemistry and sometimes not. I have learned from experience that without a strong connection and desire to spend time together, the mentoring process cannot work. If this is the case, I can refer you and your child to other professionals I know in the area — and make sure that you find the support you are seeking.  

If there is a connection, I will get to know your child in a way that makes him or her the most comfortable. If he or she likes the outdoors, then hiking, climbing, or some other outdoor activity may be chosen where we can get to know one another. If he or she is more bookish or shy, we might spend some time in a bookstore or the local library, or take slow and easy walks. The mentoring process involves me listening very carefully and openly to what your teenager is saying, and helping him or her to unpack the layers of emotion and uncertainty that can be so difficult to see and to understand.

What Teens Can Expect
Teenagers will find me supportive, nonjudgmental, worldly, athletic, well read, and an outstanding listener.  I give the our relationship time to evolve on its own, and let them teen “test the waters” with me to see if they feel safe enough to confide in me, and have enough respect for me to care about how I might respond. 

My goal is to understand them, and to encourage themMy goal isn’t to condemn behavior or even to overtly encourage one kind of behavior over another. It's simply to help teenagers to understand better the emotions that are motivating them. For instance, a teenage boy who is acting out will seldom respond to parents or authority figures simply telling him what to do. But he may respond to someone who has an ear to listen for what is driving the behavior – perhaps fear, perhaps sadness, perhaps insecurity, perhaps something else altogether.

Teens will quickly learn that I am not setting out to make them into anything in particular. My goal is to understand them, and to encourage them to go inward to find the strengths and innate wisdom and intelligence to get what they really want out of life.

What Parents/Caregivers Can Expect
Parent/Caregivers will get detailed information from me about how their teen is responding to the mentoring program, as well as general information about how their teen is doing. My job is not to put my rules onto your child, but to honor your rules for him or her. I will share with you the general outline of what I see happening with your child, but, of course, must respect the young person’s privacy in some matters to ensure that our relationship is founded on trust.

Anything serious that arises, such as life-threatening risk-taking, overt substance abuse, illegal activity, or suicidal ideation/planning will be reported immediately back to the parent/caregiver.   

 

 

"The distance is nothing; it's only the first step that is difficult. " by Marquise du Deffand

"The only way of finding the limits of the possible is by going beyond them into the impossible. " by Arthur C. Clarke