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Mentoring Tips and Ideas

Here are a few ideas to help you think of ways to spend quality time with a young person you are mentoring:

Find Favorite Memories
Take a few moments to share a favorite story of growing up. Build a personal connection over time that can be the foundation of your mentoring relationship. Let it happen naturally. Find out what you both enjoy, what makes you laugh, what kind of movies and books you like and topics you can talk about.

Expand Borders

Find out what kinds of things are outside of your mentee's comfort zone and then set a plan to take them there. Maybe it’s a restaurant or a specific part of the city. Maybe it’s a different type of movie or visiting the opera or a play. Plan a time to take on those issues one at a time and break through the self-imposed borders that plague our youth.

Read Together
If you have been involved in a mentoring relationship with a child for over six months, try reading a book together. Probably no more than 150 pages on a subject you both enjoy. If your mentee struggles with reading, make it part of your meeting time and read together.

Learn Local History
Plan a short vacation in your own city. Many young people are unaware of the history of their city. Schedule a day to visit important local sites with your mentee. It could be a museum, a historical park, or even the old cemetery. You can talk about what life used to be like, how people lived, what kind of careers they might have had. Share stories of how you would like to be remembered.

Volunteer Together
Have you ever noticed that some of your problems are not so bad in comparison to others? Take time to seek out someone that you both can help. It could be an elderly neighbor or maybe volunteering at a homeless shelter. Teaching your mentee to serve others in spite of their own circumstances is a valuable service to them personally and to the community.

About Us
Youth Villages is a national leader in children’s mental and behavioral health bringing help and hope to more than 25,000 children, families and young people across the United States this year. The organization offers a continuum of evidence- and research-based programs, including its two national models: YVIntercept, which offers intensive in-home services, and YVLifeSet, which gives former foster youth a good start on a successful adulthood.
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