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Excellence In Mentoring

Top 10 Rookie Mistakes in Running a Marathon (and in Mentoring)

The thought of running a marathon to some feels overwhelming and impossible, while others are energized and excited about the possibility. Like long distance running, mentoring a child takes proper preparation, agility, perseverance, perspective, and a healthy dose of humility. In the October, 2012 issue of, Brad Boughman highlights the top 10 rookie mistakes [...]

Ten Characteristics of Flourishing (Mentoring) Relationships

It’s no secret that as we improve our mentoring skills, we  enhance the other relationships in our lives. Whether we call ourselves parents, spouses, friends, or employees, improving in mentoring can enrich all of our relationships if we pay attention and transfer these skills into our everyday lives. Below are ten important, research-based characteristics that [...]

Teaching Your Mentee To Set Goals

Mentors can start coaching their mentees in goal setting by looking for ways they already use these skills. To get started, brainstorm with your mentee and identify a time that (s)he planned and accomplished something. Discuss the steps taken to get it done and how good it felt. These same steps can be used for [...]

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 being online. And as a mentor, you are in a great position to help your mentee navigate their online experiences. A conversation with your mentee doesn’t have to revolve exclusively around internet safety, [...]

Talking To Mentees About Politics

In today’s political climate, mentors might be wondering if talking about politics with their mentee is a good idea. Let’s face it, we may have reservations about discussing politics, considering the difficulty in even bringing it up, or the fear of not explaining how politics works, in terms that our mentee’s can understand. Despite where [...]

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 [...]

Solidifying Mentor & Mentee Connections

In the midst of the holiday season, mentors might wonder how the health of their relationships with their mentees may fair over the time that they don’t meet. Mentoring expert Jean Rhodes (2017) says that “it’s important to consider [a child’s] capacity for connection” when determining the strength of your relationship with them. In other [...]

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. [...]

Relationships Build Resilience

A primary goal of the Seedling mentor program is supporting students in building resilience. As mentors, sometimes we find ourselves asking if what we are doing has impact. Is it actually beneficial to our mentee? New research being conducted at Search Institute finds that young people are highly motivated by relationships with significant adult figures [...]

Qualities Of A Good Role Model

Youngsters usually benefit from having a relationship with someone older and wiser to mentor them. Although the mentor might be a teacher, family member or more experienced peer, not everyone is suitable to be an influential, positive role model. Effective role models possess desirable characteristics that make them easy to look up to. They inspire [...]

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 & Social Justice

Seedling Mentoring is a journey that encourages persistence in acquiring new information and skills.  Learning to promote social justice, to understand institutional oppression, and how to dismantle implicit biases and racism prepares mentors to be an upstander for our mentees and their families.  This is what makes us better, together! This 3-minute video exposes everyday [...]

How To Support Young People

We all need support in life. And supporting youth is especially important as they go through the ups and downs of growing up. Often young people turn to their parents and peers for support, but at other times they seek help from other adults in their life. So what’s the best way to support young [...]

Growth Mindset Builds Resilience

In order to promote Growth Mindset, parents, teachers, and mentors were advised to encourage effort instead of achievement. The part that often gets lost is that the effort that is encouraged should be the effort that includes two important points; exploration of multiple approaches and that learning takes place regardless of achievement. In order for [...]

Encouraging a Growth Mindset

Mindset describes the way people view ability and talent.  In her research and work on the mindset of psychological traits, Psychologist Carol S. Dweck identified 2 types of mindsets, fixed and growth. People with a fixed mindset believed their intelligence and abilities cannot be altered in a meaningful way.  In a growth mindset, people believe that their basic abilities [...]

Attachment and Mentoring

Attachment is described by psychologists as an “enduring emotional bond that connects one person to another across time and space.” Though attachment is a term used mostly in infancy, its presence and importance can be seen throughout the lifespan. For children who have suffered the loss of an attachment figure to incarceration, mentors can possibly [...]

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