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Mentoring is Modeling

January 11, 2016

January is National Mentoring Month. It’s time when we reflect on the incredible power of the little things that make a big difference in the lives of a child.

Last month, I got to hear one of our matches from the Mentor Dubuque program talk about their experience to a big group of people. The mentor shared with me how it was really nice for them to sit down together and reflect on their match in order to prepare their speech.  They talked about all the things they have learned about each other and the mentee shared how she thinks the program/mentor is helping her (she is less shy and proved that by speaking!).

The night was also a reminder of how mentoring is all about modeling. The mentor had told the mother they would be home around 8pm but things were taking longer than expected and the match was going to be late. The mentor then did something so amazing. She took out her cell and sent the mom a text saying they will be late! It seems like such a small thing but think about the good communication skills the mentor just demonstrated for the mentee. Think of all the things we tell kids (use your manners, don’t text and drive, call if you’re going to be late, do your chores, comb your hair, etc.). We can do so much by modeling those behaviors we want to see.

Whether you are part of a mentoring program like Mentor Dubuque or just a caring adult present in the life of a child, I want to thank you. Thank you for being a mentor.

Kalyn Decker, LMSW, Match Support Specialist, Mentor Dubuque