Helping others succeed is used in the workforce through mentoring programs, but we sometimes don’t realize how much we need mentoring as we parent. Mentoring is different than friendship. Mentors refer to someone that has already experienced the situation and is more experienced. Dictionary.com defines mentor as “a wise and trusted counselor or teacher.” Last year President Obama proclaimed January as National Mentoring Month.
Benefits in Mentoring
- Having someone to talk to that has already dealt with your difficulty. Let’s say Johnny is not making his bed, someone else may have 5 ideas on how to turn this around.
- Having someone that will listen to the difficulties you are struggling with, without trying to tell you what to do.
- Everyone needs encouragement. With a relationship of mentoring each other, encouragement can be the foundation of the relationship.
- Help in negotiating decision making. Mentoring involves helping mentees to determine what is for best and not making the decision for them. Ultimately, the parent makes the decision for their own family.
- A mentor can help you see the big picture. When you are in the middle of a storm, it is hard to not clearly see the problem.
Challenges in Mentoring
- Making the time to nurture a mentoring relationship.
- Recognizing specific strengths the mentor can provide.
- Developing trust in the relationship.
- Finding a good mentoring match.
Mentoring is biblical. In Titus 2, the bible says that the older women should teach the younger women to love their husband and their children. As parents, feeling overwhelmed is normal. When you are able to share your experiences as parents, as either the mentor or the mentee, the burden becomes lighter. Mentors can be found on the Internet, at churches, schools, and through the community. There may be someone at your church whose children are grown, someone in your neighborhood, support groups, parenting blogs, but don’t let yourself become anxious, share your parenting experiences with someone.
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