Find a mentor.
Beyond meeting monthly through the school year, guidelines were intentionally loose. Activities didn’t have to be necessarily spiritual; the more important goal was to build relationship, to give the student another adult voice who would speak truth into his or her life beside their parents.
Enter Jessi, and two years later, Jason. I learned that sometimes Jesus has black curly hair and gorgeous eyes fringed in feather dusters, and sometimes He is ruddy and red-headed and can run like the wind.
My daughter would eventually leave the Christian school after her sophomore year; my son, after his freshman. But long after it was dictated by school requirement, Jason and Jessi continued to mentor my children. Each had taken their mentor role seriously, not as a school requirement but as a Jesus-following investment in people.
Their significant, life-affecting and eternal impact in the lives of not just my children, but our entire family, is why I can’t help but–
- strongly encourage all parents to seek out a mentor for their teenagers, and
- gently ask you to consider mentoring a teen
Three Benefits of Having a Mentor
 Increased sense of worth.
The time a mentor spends with your teen is invaluable because it says to the child “YOU are valuable.” A parent “has” to love his child; a mentor chooses to. This is one of those intangibles your teenager will likely never realize, but the impact is real.
 It really takes a village.
Raising children might just be the hardest job on the planet; that’s why it helps to have help! A mentor can act as a silent partner in crime, reinforcing what is important to you. It’s crucial to find a mentor who shares your same values, and to maintain open lines of communication.
Though you might have shared a piece of advice 100 times with your child, he might not hear it until someone else says it. Likewise, another adult sharing the same advice will underscore the credibility of the parent.
And sometimes, your child just needs someone safe other than you to talk to, pray with, and process life.
 Challenged is, challenged does.
A mentor can broaden your child’s world. Introducing her to thinking critically about issues you haven’t thought about discussing at home, or maybe even trying new activities–a trustworthy, committed mentor sharing his time, talents and experiences with your teen can motivate her beyond her comfort zone.
IF you’re interested, I’ve published a companion piece to today’s (in)post–Three Important Considerations for Establishing a Mentor Relationship and Three Important Considerations for Becoming a Mentor.
It’s not likely we would have pursued mentor relationships for our children aside from the school requirement; we simply had never thought to! But after seeing the impact and difference it has made in my kids’ lives, I hope to get you more than just thinking about it…!
Have you ever had a mentor invest in your life? Have you mentored others in a one-on-one relationship? Please share your thoughts about the benefits of having a mentor.
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By Robin Dance, author of PENSIEVE and who believes YOU’VE got what it takes!Leave a Comment