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Mentor MidYear Training


Big Brothers Big Sisters of. Central Arkansas. Site-Based Staff: Amanda May, Site-Based Manager ... Big Brother or Big Sister! Thank you for all that you do! ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Mentor MidYear Training

You are a support system to your Little Who is
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central
Arkansas Site-Based Staff Amanda May,
Site-Based Manager Email Audry
Stanisor, Site-Based Specialist Email astanisor_at_b Kenny May, Site-Based
Specialist Email 501.374.6661
Call us if you have questions, concerns or just
need some advice!
Return our calls if we leave a message. Were
required to check in with you regularly!
We love to hear what you do with your Little
pass it along to other mentors!
We want to thank you for the difference you are
Scheduling Your Visits
1. Take into account your Littles school
2. Try to schedule your visit during a time
thats convenient for both of you!
3. Be flexible when you can since things do come
up at schools such as field trips, standardized
tests, etc. and this may change your visit time.
4. Your Little may be absent sometimes, but
please remember that it is not their fault!
5. If you and your Littles teacher cannot agree
on a good meeting time, please call your BBBS
Staff Person to assist you!
Developing Rapport Building Trust
One of the best ways to build trust is to help
youth accomplish something that is important to
them. Mentors must take the time to help youth
identify the goal(s) they want to accomplish,
view it realistically, break it down into small
steps and explore ways of reaching the
goal. Building trust takes weeks, sometimes
  • Testing will occur.
  • Youth may be slow to give their trust, expecting
    inconsistency and lack of commitment, due to past
    experiences with adults. The mentors
    trustworthiness and commitment may be tested,
    particularly when youth are from unstable
    backgrounds where adults have repeatedly
    disappointed them.
  • During the testing period,
  • Mentors can expect
  • Unreasonable requests
  • Angry or sullen behavior
  • Phone calls not returned

Developing Rapport Building Trust
  • Once the mentor passes the test, the real work of
    the relationship can begin. Mentors should
    remember that the issue is not whether you like
    them. Youth are protecting themselves from
    disappointment. From their perspective, not
    having a relationship at all seems better than
    trusting and subsequently losing someone.
  • These young people may come from families where
    nothing can be taken for granted.
  • People living in the household may come and go.
  • Frequent moves occur during the course of a year.
  • The phone may be turned on and off.
  • Remember, predictability breeds trust. The mentor
    must be consistent and accountable
  • On time for meetings
  • Bring promised information/materials
  • Follow through on promises and contracts that
    were volunteered
  • One misstep, though it may seem small to the
    mentor, can assume great importance to the youth.
    Through this difficult process, mentors need to
    be prepared, to understand, and to refrain from
    personalizing the experience.

Communicating with your Little
When young people are allowed to express their
feelings, particularly their negative feelings,
it offers them a safety valve, which like the
safety valve on a boiler, prevents it from
exploding. Allowing a youth to release feelings
also prevents exploding. If your Little is
systematically taught to keep negative feelings
bottled up, he or she cannot get them out of his
or her system. Young people cannot discriminate
and hold back only negative feelings without
putting down positive feelings as well. If they
are not allowed to express negative feelings in
words, they will come out in some form of
antisocial action. Youth who are not allowed to
express their negative feelings usually grow up
to be adults who cannot express their negative
feelings either.
Give them the freedom to express all of their
feelings as a child!
Communicating with your Little
  • Youngsters very desperately want us to
  • understand how they feel.
  • Unfortunately, many do not get this understanding
    from their parents. Not that the parents are
    cruel or unfeeling. Rather they are not able to
    let their children know they understand how they
    feel because nobody taught them how to convey
    this kind of understanding.
  • Many parents have not learned the importance of
    LISTENING to their children and empathizing with
  • Mentors can use communication skills to help
    their little overcome these barriers.
  • The essence of the technique is simple. You are
    doing three things whenever your Little expresses
    his/her feelings
  • Listening carefully to what your Little is
  • Formulating in your own mind what your Little is
  • Repeating back to him/her in your own words the
    feelings they have just expressed to you.

Rules of Communication
3. Recognize that each individual sees things
from a different point of view.
1. Make your communication positive.
4. Be open and honest about your feelings.
2. Be clear and specific.
5. Accept your Littles feelings and try to
understand them.
7. Do not preach or lecture.
6. Be supportive and accepting.
10. Allow time for your Little to talk without
interruption show you are interested in what
theyre saying.
11. Get feedback to be sure you are understood.
9. Maintain eye contact.
8. Learn to listen.
12. Listen for a feeling tone as well as for
14. Set examples rather than giving advice.
13. Ask questions when you do not understand.
Solving Problems vs. Giving Advice
The differences between these two approaches are
significant they will affect mentors
relationships with their Little and Littles
ability to reach their fullest potential.
Major Differences between the two
  • Giving Advice
  • Little is passive, possibly resistant
  • Cuts off further exploration of problem
  • Often premature
  • Little doesnt learn
  • Can impose mentors solution on littles problem
  • Does not encourage self-esteem
  • Little Solving problems
  • Active Little
  • Opens lines of communication
  • Eliminates timing problem
  • Little learns
  • Solutions belongs to Little
  • Fosters self-esteem

When is Giving Advice Appropriate If the mentor
is an expert in a particular field, the Little
may benefit from the mentors specific knowledge
and advice. If the Little is stuck after going
through the problem-solving process, mentor can
give advice about how to proceed.
Asking High Quality Questions
  • Useful Questions to Clarify Outcomes
  • What do you really want in this situation?
  • What is important about this outcome to you?
  • What are all the ways you can go about getting
    what you want?
  • Who/what can you use as resources to get what you
  • Who do you know that has already achieved this
    outcome, and how do they do it?
  • Is this outcome possible to achieve?
  • Can the outcome be initiated and sustained by
  • Is this outcome consistent with who you are?
  • Considering what it will take and the possible
    consequences, is the outcome worth doing?
  • How to Elicit Values, Needs Wants
  • What is important about achieving this particular
  • How will you know that you have achieved your
    outcome? What will you see, hear, feel or
    experience to know that you have achieved your
  • If you get what you want, what will this do for

  • Your Little may be unsure whether the feelings
    and information they disclose to their mentors
    will be passed on to teacher, parents, etc. Early
    in the relationship, mentors must provide
  • Nothing that the Little tells the mentor will be
    discussed with anyone else except the BBBS Staff
  • If the mentor feels it is important to involve
    another adult, it will be discussed first with
    the Little.
  • If there is threat of physical harm to the youth
    or to others, the mentor must break
    confidentiality to seek protection for the
    endangered person (including the threat of

My Little Asks for Things
1. Talk to your Little about your time together
and explain that hanging out together and being
friends doesnt mean you buy things for each
2. Make sure you dont give in and buy/give
things to your Little on a regular basis because
they may come to expect that and this is not your
3. Talk to your BBBS Staff Person so that they
can remind your Little that you are not there to
buy things for them every week. We talk to your
Little on a regular basis and were comfortable
talking to them about these types of issues.
ACTIVITY SUGGESTION Talk to your Little about
money in a way they can understand and explain to
them about budgeting, bills and how money isnt
an unlimited supply. Create a pretend budget
with your Little to help them understand the
concept better!
What do I do if I cant visit my Little every
1st Step Is this an ongoing situation or do you
just need to miss one week?
This is ongoing. I dont think I can go every
I just cant make it one week, but it wont
happen again.
2nd Step Can you visit your Little 2 times a
2nd Step Call the BBBS Site-Based Staff to let
them know and explain to your Little why you
cant be there that particular week.
3rd Step Consistency is the key! Call your BBBS
Site-Based Staff to discuss other options to
prevent your Little from being let down.
  • 3rd Step Contact your BBBS Site-Based Staff to
    let them know and do one of the following
  • Switch to our Community-Based Program.
  • Schedule your closure meeting with your Little
    before your match is officially closed. (This
    helps our Littles understand that the closure is
    not because of something they did.)

My Little seems bored with our activities
1st Step Do you do the same activity with your
Little every week?
2nd Step Do you do schoolwork with your Little
for the entire hour or most of it?
2nd Step Try mixing things up! Kids can get
bored easily, especially kids suffering from
ADD/ADHD. Do you want to know how to mix things
No, I have my own ideas.
3rd Step Ask your Little what their interests
are. If they dont have much to say, name off a
few activities to see which ones interest them.
ACTIVITY SUGGESTION Make a list of activities
you both would like to try cross them off as
you do them. You could select a new activity per
week or per month to try new!
My Little is in trouble when I visit
1st Step Is your Little suspended?
2nd Step Was the situation an isolated incident?
2nd Step Contact your BBBS Site-Based Staff to
make them aware. They will contact the school to
get details about why your Little was suspended
and notify you when your Little has returned to
the school.
3rd Step Spend part of your visit talking with
your Little about their behavior, the incident
and discuss ways they could have acted more
responsibly/appropriately. Discuss consequences
with them!
3rd Step Contact your BBBS Site-Based Staff to
set up a meeting with them and the Littles
counselor so that we can develop a plan to assist
the Little in improving or eliminating their
My Littles friends/classmates try to come along
with us every time I visit.
1st Step Ask your little do you want to share
our time with your friends/classmates?
2nd Step Ask yourself Do my Littles
friends/classmates try to come along with us
every week?
2nd Step Explain to your Little This is
special time for just you and me to hang out so
your friends/classmates cant come along every
week. Maybe once a month we could invite one of
them along if you want to do that, but not every
3rd Step Tell the friends/classmates This is
my special time with your friend and the rule is
that it can only be the two of us together.
  • 3rd Step
  • Let your BBBS Site-Based Staff know
  • Move to a location where the friends/classmates
    are not

Options for Keeping in Touch with your Little
1. Exchange phone numbers with your Little!
2. Write letters to your Little and provide them
with stationary and stamps to write you!
3. Exchange email addresses if your Little has
access to it but do not forward emails to them!
ACTIVITY SUGGESTION Give your Little a journal
to write about what he/she does when the two of
you are apart and you can do the same. Then
exchange them and read about each others
adventures the next youre apart!
Stay in touch with your Little over the breaks
(winter/spring/summer) by phone or mail! This
will help strengthen your friendship!
Thank you for taking time to complete This Mentor
Mid-Year Training!
We hope that you found the information helpful as
you continue your journey as a Big Brother or Big
Sister! Thank you for all that you do! Please
take a moment to let us know you completed this
training, by emailing