After a holiday or summer break, it’s important that mentors re-establish a connection and return to regular visits as soon as possible. A great way to do this is to go back to the routines set up prior to the break. Children thrive on routine and regular schedules. If at all possible, visiting the same day every week allows the child to know when to expect their mentor.
Do you and your mentee share established rituals? Some mentors begin each weekly visit sharing what each did the previous weekend. This allows both the mentee and mentor to think about and prepare for what they’re going to share with each other. It also provides an opportunity for each to think of the other while they are away from each other. Mentors who end their visits by asking their mentees what they want to do next time give children some power in the relationship and something positive to look forward to. Mentors can come up with a variety of different rituals to share with their mentees, or they might ask their mentee what traditions they would like to come up with together.
Lastly, it is always a good idea to come back from any break ready to have fun! Researchers Tom Keller & Renee Spencer found that “mentors who expected to enjoy fun activities, had longer lasting matches than those who wanted to focus on things like achieving goals or developing a meaningful bond or connecting around intellectual interest.” Seedling’s Current Mentors page has numerous activities to choose from to keep your visits fun and engaging.