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Communication

Where Do We Go From Here?

As vaccines become more available and the world takes a few shy steps towards normalcy, we can’t help but think: “where do we go from here?” What has this past year meant for our mentees? And how do we move forward? Below are thoughts to consider as you begin thinking of mentoring beyond COVID. It [...]

Transitions: Tips for Mentors

In a normal school year, transitioning to a new school (such as Elementary to Middle or Middle to High school) can be daunting. COVID has only compounded anxiety about any changes, and that’s before considering things like returning to full classrooms. Many of our students have experienced more moves than usual directly as a result [...]

The Holidays and Practicing Gratitude

Navigating the holidays in a mentoring relationship can be tricky. As Seedling mentors, we are sensitive to the fact that some households may not celebrate holidays we hold dear. This reality might be due to religious practice, financial distress or family strife. The safest and most effective open-ended questions on the topic are: “What do [...]

Talking With Your Mentee About Being Online

Mentoring online provides you the unique opportunity to reconnect with your mentee virtually, but also to facilitate a conversation with them about their online experiences. A conversation with your mentee doesn’t have to revolve exclusively around internet safety, but can also help them learn how to better navigate the online world.  There is plenty to [...]

Talking about Incarceration

Have you ever considered what it might be like for your mentee to have communication with their incarcerated or deported parent?  Maybe it is only through letters, an infrequent phone call, or on rare occasions talking on a phone while looking at one another through a plexiglass window. These brief connections are rarely private.  Communicating [...]

Talking About Current Events

We’ve all been shaken by the acts of violence that took place this week in Washington D.C. and at several state capitals across the nation.  The violent actions have left a significant impact on us as a nation and as individuals and may lead to conversations during your mentoring time. We are already carrying so [...]

Strategies For Engaging Your Mentee In Meaningful Discussion

How can I get my mentee to talk more?  This thoughtful question asked by mentors is usually followed by recounts of open ended questions going unanswered, or mentees who don’t talk or look their mentor in the eye.  It can be uncomfortable to sit in silence as few words are exchanged. But take heart, this [...]

Somatic Experiencing and Mentoring

“The super-power of human kind is our capacity to connect; it is regulating, rewarding, and the major route by which we can teach, coach, parent, heal, mentor and learn.” Dr. Bruce Perry At Seedling we often refer to our mentors as having “super powers.”  You have that uncanny ability to light up the face of [...]

Six Ways To Positively Respond To Youth

March for Our Lives, on March 24, 2018, was one of the biggest youth protests since the Vietnam War. On June 30, 2018, more than 600 marches occurred throughout the country protesting the separation of immigrant families entering the U.S. We are seeing more and more demonstrations, and activism is increasing especially amongst our youth. [...]

Self-Care in Uncertain Times

In uncertain times, it’s easy for stress and anxiety to take over our emotions and color our daily interactions without us even recognizing that it’s happening. That’s why it’s important now more than ever to establish some healthy routines that allow us to check in with ourselves and be aware of our physical and emotional [...]

Reconnections

  Your Impact on your mentee is bigger than you think! They still giggle when they think of that funny thing you said, still smile when they think of the compliment you gave them.  Your impact has made them think twice, your support has made their day! Your impact makes a positive difference, whether you [...]

Processing Racism-Related Trauma through Creative Expression

In the last few years, our country has begun confronting racism and racial injustice on a scale that we haven’t seen since the Civil Rights Movement of the late 1960s. Understanding the history, scope, and implications of systemic racism is a complicated undertaking for all of us. Expressing our feelings about it can be even [...]

Politics Anyone?

Presidential elections always come with a bit of apprehension, but this year’s upcoming election carries significantly more heated rhetoric and tension. In recent years, psychologists and child experts have repeatedly documented how political discourse has had a marked impact on youth in America. This can manifest as general anxiety and worry about their families and [...]

Mentoring and the Art of Validation

“When little people are overwhelmed by big emotions, it is our job to share our calm, not join their chaos”  -L.R. Knost As Seedling mentors, our goal is to be a trusted friend, boost our mentee’s positive self-esteem and safeguard their opportunity to thrive!   We believe that with time, commitment, and a lot of heart, [...]

Mentoring and Beautiful Questions

Listening is an essential skill in mentoring. It provides a safe space and the attention needed to convey validation and worth.  Oftentimes mentors also have the opportunity to problem-solve with their mentee. To be successful we must be prepared to ask the right questions not only to our mentee, but first to ourselves.  This is [...]

Mentor Tested, Kid Approved!

Mentors may struggle from time to time with conversation, meaningful interaction, or even sustained eye contact with their mentee.  When mentoring is a challenge, remembering to use creativity and having a few simple activities to pull out of your pocket can help!  We surveyed our Seedling School Contacts for their best advice on how you [...]

It’s Important

Given the significant social, environmental, and political events of the past year, it may feel like it’s more important now than ever to spend time with your mentee simply talking about their feelings to process all of the changes we’re experiencing. We always encourage you to follow your mentee’s lead, and if they want to [...]

It Matters: Building Representation in Mentoring Relationships

On January 20, 2021, Kamala Harris was sworn in as Vice President, becoming the first woman, the first Black American, and the first South Asian American to hold the office. The importance of the moment was not lost – across social media, posts celebrating this historical event peppered the internet with a familiar ring of, [...]

From the Mentor Directors

The new school year is a time of transitions and new beginnings for all of us. For all of our mentors, it will mark a new chapter in your mentoring relationship, for some of you it may be the big jump from elementary to middle school. And some of you may be transitioning to the [...]

Essential Listening Tips

Develop​ ​the​ ​desire​ ​to​ ​listen​. Really listening to someone is a wonderful gift to give. Let​ ​the​ ​other​ ​person​ ​do​ ​most​ ​of​ ​the​ ​talking.​ ​ Applying the 70/30 rule ensures this will happen. You listen 70% of the time and you talk 30%. Avoid​ ​interrupting.​ There is always the temptation to interrupt so you can [...]

Communicating with Kids about COVID-19

With Seedling’s temporary communication policies in place, mentors will soon have the opportunity to communicate with their mentee in a safe and intentional way.  As the COVID-19 pandemic alters our everyday lives, your mentee may have questions or have daunting fears.  While there is no script that will tell you what to communicate to your [...]

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