kinshipparkrapids.org https://kinshipparkrapids.org Just another WordPress site Thu, 24 Mar 2022 16:33:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://kinshipparkrapids.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/cropped-icon-32x32.jpg kinshipparkrapids.org https://kinshipparkrapids.org 32 32 Group Activities with a Purpose https://kinshipparkrapids.org/group-activities-with-a-purpose/ https://kinshipparkrapids.org/group-activities-with-a-purpose/#respond Thu, 24 Mar 2022 15:09:41 +0000 https://kinshipparkrapids.org/?p=3308 Molly here, I just wanted to take a moment and give a little snippet regarding our group activities. It may be all fun and games but I assure you, there is more to it than that! The goal of youth mentoring programs is to improve the well-being of the child by providing a role model […]

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Molly here, I just wanted to take a moment and give a little snippet regarding our group activities. It may be all fun and games but I assure you, there is more to it than that!

The goal of youth mentoring programs is to improve the well-being of the child by providing a role model that can support the child academically, socially and personally. This goal can be accomplished through school work, communication and activities. Studies show that youth who have been a part of a mentoring program have higher graduation rates, improved self-esteem, healthier relationships and a more positive outlook.

Kinship provides our mentors and mentees with a optional monthly activity. Past activities have included sledding, hiking, art and healthy living. By hosting these activities we are offering a space for our mentors and mentees to cultivate their new relationships with the support of Kinship. All of our mentees are unique and come from different backgrounds and have different skill sets. Being involved in the group activity gives the mentee a chance to socialize in a semi-structured safe environment. This allows the mentees to further develop their communication and social skills.

Kinship currently has 23 mentor/mentee matches with 10 youth on the waiting list. Kinship mentoring is only possible with the help of our community. If you or someone you know would like to be involved you can reach us by phone, email or Facebook.

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You Can Mentor (Podcasts) https://kinshipparkrapids.org/you-can-mentor-podcasts/ https://kinshipparkrapids.org/you-can-mentor-podcasts/#respond Fri, 11 Dec 2020 15:41:56 +0000 https://kinshipparkrapids.org/?p=2582 You Can Mentor is a podcast about the power of building relationships with kids from hard places in the name of Jesus. Every episode will help you overcome common mentoring obstacles and give you the confidence you need to invest in the lives of others. https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/you-can-mentor/id1474640776

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You Can Mentor is a podcast about the power of building relationships with kids from hard places in the name of Jesus. Every episode will help you overcome common mentoring obstacles and give you the confidence you need to invest in the lives of others.

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/you-can-mentor/id1474640776

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Champions For Change https://kinshipparkrapids.org/champions-for-change/ https://kinshipparkrapids.org/champions-for-change/#respond Thu, 04 Jun 2020 15:49:43 +0000 https://kinshipparkrapids.org/?p=2142 I am sure that most of you are aware that fundraising efforts for all non-profits in our communities is a challenge.  Kinship had to cancel our fish fry in May.  We have also cancelled our raffle for this year and the Amazing Chase is not happening.  BUT… we have a new fundraiser that we are […]

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I am sure that most of you are aware that fundraising efforts for all non-profits in our communities is a challenge.  Kinship had to cancel our fish fry in May.  We have also cancelled our raffle for this year and the Amazing Chase is not happening.  BUT… we have a new fundraiser that we are excited to kick off when the time is right.  This fundraiser is entitled CHAMPIONS FOR CHANGE.  It is a display board (see picture below) that has 200 envelopes attached to it.  Each envelope has a dollar amount from $1 to $200 labeled on the front of it.  We are asking people to sponsor an envelope and donate the amount listed on that envelope.  If we can get our community to adopt all 200 envelopes we will have raised $20,100.  This is an exciting goal for Kinship and we hope to succeed sooner rather then later.  Our plan for this Champions For Change fundraiser was to place this fundraising board at various locations around our community to allow that business’s patrons the opportunity to become a champion for change.  We also hoped to have it at a booth at the county fair, at 2nd street stage and other community events.  Well, that is not working the way we had planned.  With our restaurants only able to seat people outside, the fair being cancelled and no 2nd street stage this summer, we have to get even more creative.  I would like to encourage each of YOU to become a Champion for Change.  It can be done as a donation on line by clicking donate now.  But I do need you to contact me and request the numbered envelope you want.  For example, if you want to donate $25, I will need to have you contact me and see if envelope #25 is available.  If it isn’t, maybe #24 or #26 would be available instead.  It is really important to get rid of our higher number envelopes.  I would encourage you to possibly team up with another family member, work colleague or neighbor to sponsor a higher numbered envelope.  You can contact me by calling 218-732-0058, or emailing me at kinshipparkrapids@gmail.com.  Please help Kinship reach it’s goal of raising over $20,000; sponsor an envelope today and be a CHAMPION FOR CHANGE.

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The kids aren’t all right: Why mentees will be disproportionately affected by the pandemic https://kinshipparkrapids.org/the-kids-arent-all-right-why-mentees-will-be-disproportionately-affected-by-the-pandemic/ https://kinshipparkrapids.org/the-kids-arent-all-right-why-mentees-will-be-disproportionately-affected-by-the-pandemic/#respond Thu, 30 Apr 2020 15:27:38 +0000 https://kinshipparkrapids.org/?p=2132 By Jean Rhodes Although COVID-19 appears to spare children from the most serious health problems, marginalized youth are likely to bear the heaviest burdens of trauma and economic fallout. This has serious implications for mentoring programs, which often serve particularly high risk youth. For example, an analysis of the two million young people aged six […]

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By Jean Rhodes

Although COVID-19 appears to spare children from the most serious health problems, marginalized youth are likely to bear the heaviest burdens of trauma and economic fallout. This has serious implications for mentoring programs, which often serve particularly high risk youth. For example, an analysis of the two million young people aged six through eighteen, whom Big Brothers Big Sisters of America has served over the past decade, revealed that the majority were from low-income families (78%), and/or lived in single-parent homes (61%).[i] Similarly, a 2018 evaluation of 2,165 American youth participating in thirty nationally representative mentoring programs found that nearly 70% of mentees were from marginalized, non-majority racial backgrounds.[ii] The vast majority (85%) of the mentees’ parents reported that their children had recently been exposed to family stress (such as a family member struggling with substance use, frequent family arguments, or homelessness), while more than three quarters (76%) noted that their children faced economic adversity and safety concerns (such as housing insecurity, parental job instability, or gangs or drugs in the neighborhood), with participating families’ median annual income ranging from $20,000 to $30,000. Compared to young people on average nationally, mentees were roughly twice as likely to be living in extreme poverty, and in a single-parent household, and to have an incarcerated parent or family member. [iii]

Youth often experience the stress and anxiety as much as parents, particularly those who are already vulnerable. In an excellent new article for the Atlantic, excerpted below, journalist Vann R. Newkirk II discusses the particular vulnerabilities of the kinds of youth that mentoring programs serve.

“For children who spend time in multiple households, rely on outside figures for guidance or mentoring, or are used to a stream of relatives in and out of home, prolonged social-distancing measures will mean profound separation from some people who provide care. All the FaceTime in the world can’t make up for fill-in help from aunts, uncles, grandmothers, and gym coaches. And for some kids, those supports are the main things interceding in a toxic—or even dangerous—home environment.

While most adults still have work and other routines to carry on, school is the primary source of structure and socialization for kids. Children have rich social lives, often experienced almost exclusively in school and extracurricular activities. And schools are the primary providers for lots of essential services. As New York City debated recently, schools are the only thing standing between some children and food insecurity. Beyond that, schools might be the only places some kids receive even cursory dental, physical, or mental-health care; rigorous physical activity; or clean water. A 2019 overview of formally established school-based health centers found they provided primary-care services for more than 6 million students across almost 11,000 schools. Low-income households are already struggling to grapple with the rising price of municipal water—and now a major source of free water for low-income kids will be gone in some places for a month or more.

The staggering economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic will add a new dimension of suffering to the experience of young people. The numbers struggle to capture the reality of the situation. In the middle of mass freezes of whole sectors of industry, perhaps a fifth of all workers have lost their jobs or had significant cuts to hours in a span of days. If the pandemic does indeed spark a recession, then data from previous downturns indicate that food security, physical health, and general well-being for children will diminish, and quickly.

Rand Conger, a professor emeritus at UC Davis and a longtime researcher of the intergenerational consequences of poverty, told me the data from previous recessions are clear, and that we’re only beginning to see the effects. Conger studied the agricultural downturn in the 1980s, and followed patterns of disintegration of spousal and parental relationships, as well as spikes in child abuse. “It was so devastating for so many families,” Conger said, “and severe punishment tends to increase.” Child neglect and abuse tend to track with greater traumatic events, economic instability, and stress. Sadly, they might be tracking already. Reportedly, a single hospital in Fort Worth, Texas, has treated six children with severe physical-abuse-related injuries. Doctors believe the cases are related to parents’ stress over the pandemic.

All the evidence suggests that children—and poor children especially—will bear an incredible burden during the coronavirus pandemic and the attendant economic shocks. But that evidence has trouble breaking into a national conversation dominated by mortality rates and work-from-home strategies. Bruce Lesley, the president of First Focus on Children, told me this failure could be costly for kids. “It’s all the stuff that people just aren’t thinking about in terms of this crisis and how it feeds into existing problems and exacerbating them,” he said. “In enormous ways, I just think that people are missing all those sorts of things.”

It’s a morbid, anxiety-inducing exercise—trying to forecast all the ways things could go wrong—but it’s one Lesley thinks is necessary for working proactively to save children. In addition to supporting direct payments to families in this crisis, Lesley is advocating for an expansion of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), funding increases to federal support for homeless and foster children, and a national moratorium on evictions. The one piece of good news is that there are plenty of lessons to learn from events like the Great Depression, the HIV crisis, and Hurricane Katrina that can help the country prepare to protect the youngest generation.

The coronavirus is a strange beast. By severing intergenerational relationships, it disrupts all the ancient ways families have always coped with disasters. It is singularly difficult to combat in the modern age of interconnected economies. And, through whatever quirk of biology, the virus appears to mostly spare children. All of those things might tempt Americans to think of it as something new, to be relieved by its selective mercies. But the most likely outcome is that this pandemic, like most others in history, will again uncover our most basic inequities. For children and their parents, that might mean that mortality rates are only the beginning of the story.”

For the original story from the Atlantic, please click here.

[i]  Jarjoura, Tanyu, Herrera, & Keller. Evaluation of the Mentoring Enhancement Demonstration Program.

[ii] Children’s Defense Fund. (2014). The State of America’s Children. Washington, D.C.: Children’s Defense Fund.

Mental Health America. (2017). 2017 State of Mental Health in America. Alexandria, VA: Mental Health America.

National Center for Educational Statistics. (2017). The condition of education. Washington, D.C.: NCEC. Retrieved from https://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2017144

[iii] Danielson, M. L., Bitsko, R. H., Ghandour, R. M., Holbrook, J. R., Kogan, M. D., & Blumberg, S. J. (2018). Prevalence of parent-reported ADHD diagnosis and associated treatment among U.S. children and adolescents, 2016. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology47(2), 199–212. https://doi.org/10.1080/15374416.2017.1417860

[iv] Eisenhower, A., Blacher, J., & Bush, H. (2015). Longitudinal associations between externalizing problems and student-teacher relationship quality for young children with ASD. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 9, 163-173. doi:10.1016/j.rasd.2014.09.007.

Raposa, E. B., Rhodes, J. E., & Herrera, C. (2016). The impact of youth risk on mentoring relationship quality: Do mentor characteristics matter? American Journal of Community Psychology, 320–329. https://doi.org/10.1002/ajcp.12057

Jarjoura, Tanyu, Herrera, & Keller. Evaluation of the Mentoring Enhancement Demonstration Program.

[v] Herrera, C., DuBois, D. L., & Grossman, J. B. (2013). The role of risk: Mentoring experiences and outcomes for youth with varying risk profiles. New York, NY: MDRC.

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Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Stress and Coping https://kinshipparkrapids.org/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19-stress-and-coping/ https://kinshipparkrapids.org/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19-stress-and-coping/#respond Thu, 30 Apr 2020 15:25:19 +0000 https://kinshipparkrapids.org/?p=2130 Outbreaks can be stressful The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may be stressful for people. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Coping with stress will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger. Stress during an infectious disease outbreak can include […]

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Outbreaks can be stressful

The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may be stressful for people. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Coping with stress will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger.

Stress during an infectious disease outbreak can include

  • Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones
  • Changes in sleep or eating patterns
  • Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
  • Worsening of chronic health problems
  • Worsening of mental health conditions
  • Increased use of alcoholtobacco, or other drugs

Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations

How you respond to the outbreak can depend on your background, the things that make you different from other people, and the community you live in.

People who may respond more strongly to the stress of a crisis include

  • Older people and people with chronic diseases who are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19
  • Children and teens
  • People who are helping with the response to COVID-19, like doctors, other health care providers, and first responders
  • People who have mental health conditions including problems with substance use

Take care of yourself and your community

Taking care of yourself, your friends, and your family can help you cope with stress. Helping others cope with their stress can also make your community stronger.

Ways to cope with stress

Know the facts to help reduce stress

Sharing the facts about COVID-19. Understanding the risk to yourself and people you care about can make an outbreak less stressful.

When you share accurate information about COVID-19, you can help make people feel less stressed and make a connection with them.

 

Take care of your mental health

Call your healthcare provider if stress gets in the way of your daily activities for several days in a row.

People with preexisting mental health conditions should continue with their treatment and be aware of new or worsening symptoms. Additional information can be found at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration site.

For parents

Children and teens react, in part, on what they see from the adults around them. When parents and caregivers deal with the COVID-19 calmly and confidently, they can provide the best support for their children. Parents can be more reassuring to others around them, especially children, if they are better prepared.

Watch for behavior changes in your child

Not all children and teens respond to stress in the same way. Some common changes to watch for include

  • Excessive crying or irritation in younger children
  • Returning to behaviors they have outgrown (for example, toileting accidents or bedwetting)
  • Excessive worry or sadness
  • Unhealthy eating or sleeping habits
  • Irritability and “acting out” behaviors in teens
  • Poor school performance or avoiding school
  • Difficulty with attention and concentration
  • Avoidance of activities enjoyed in the past
  • Unexplained headaches or body pain
  • Use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs

Ways to support your child

  • Talk with your child or teen about the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Answer questions and share facts about COVID-19 in a way that your child or teen can understand.
  • Reassure your child or teen that they are safe. Let them know it is ok if they feel upset. Share with them how you deal with your own stress so that they can learn how to cope from you.
  • Limit your family’s exposure to news coverage of the event, including social media. Children may misinterpret what they hear and can be frightened about something they do not understand.
  • Try to keep up with regular routines. If schools are closed, create a schedule for learning activities and relaxing or fun activities.
  • Be a role model. Take breaks, get plenty of sleep, exercise, and eat well. Connect with your friends and family members.

For people at higher risk for serious illness

People at higher risk for severe illness, such as older adults, and people with underlying health conditions are also at increased risk of stress due to COVID-19. Special considerations include:

  • Older adults and people with disabilities are at increased risk for having mental health concerns, such as depression.
  • Mental health problems can present as physical complaints (such as headaches or stomachaches) or cognitive problems (such as having trouble concentrating).
  • Doctors may be more likely to miss mental health concerns among

Common reactions to COVID-19

  • Concern about protecting oneself from the virus because they are at higher risk of serious illness.
  • Concern that regular medical care or community services may be disrupted due to facility closures or reductions in services and public transport closure.
  • Feeling socially isolated, especially if they live alone or are in a community setting that is not allowing visitors because of the outbreak.
  • Guilt if loved ones help them with activities of daily living.
  • Increased levels of distress if they:
    • Have mental health concerns before the outbreak, such as depression.
    • Live in lower-income households or have language barriers
    • Experience stigma because of age, race or ethnicity, disability, or perceived likelihood of spreading COVID-19.

Support your loved ones

Check in with your loved ones often. Virtual communication can help you and your loved ones feel less lonely and isolated. Consider connecting with loved ones by:

  • Telephone
  • Email
  • Mailing letters or cards
  • Text messages
  • Video chat
  • Social media

Help keep your loved ones safe.

  • Know what medications your loved one is taking. Try to help them have a 4-week supply of prescription and over the counter medications. and see if you can help them have extra on hand.
  • Monitor other medical supplies (oxygen, incontinence, dialysis, wound care) needed and create a back-up plan.
  • Stock up on non-perishable food (canned foods, dried beans, pasta) to have on hand in your home to minimize trips to stores.
  • If you care for a loved one living in a care facility, monitor the situation, and speak with facility administrators or staff over the phone. Ask about the health of the other residents frequently and know the protocol if there is an outbreak.

Take care of your own emotional health. Caring for a loved one can take an emotional toll, especially during an outbreak like COVID-19. There are ways to support yourself.

Stay home if you are sick. Do not visit family or friends who are at greater risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Use virtual communication to keep in touch to support your loved one and keep them safe.

For people coming out of quarantine

It can be stressful to be separated from others if a healthcare provider thinks you may have been exposed to COVID-19, even if you do not get sick. Everyone feels differently after coming out of quarantine.

Emotional reactions to coming out of quarantine may include

  • Mixed emotions, including relief after quarantine
  • Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones
  • Stress from the experience of monitoring yourself or being monitored by others for signs and symptoms of COVID-19
  • Sadness, anger, or frustration because friends or loved ones have unfounded fears of contracting the disease from contact with you, even though you have been determined not to be contagious
  • Guilt about not being able to perform normal work or parenting duties during quarantine
  • Other emotional or mental health changes

Children may also feel upset or have other strong emotions if they, or someone they know, has been released from quarantine.

Information taken from:CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus

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Screen time soars for US children amid global pandemic https://kinshipparkrapids.org/screen-time-soars-for-us-children-amid-global-pandemic/ https://kinshipparkrapids.org/screen-time-soars-for-us-children-amid-global-pandemic/#respond Thu, 30 Apr 2020 15:22:59 +0000 https://kinshipparkrapids.org/?p=2127 by Sara Fischer, Axios With almost all U.S. states closing schools until at least the end of the month, most children ages 6–12 say they are spending at least 50% more time in front of screens daily, according to new data from SuperAwesome, a kids technology company. Why it matters: Parents were already struggling to limit screen time for kids when they […]

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by Sara FischerAxios

With almost all U.S. states closing schools until at least the end of the month, most children ages 6–12 say they are spending at least 50% more time in front of screens daily, according to new data from SuperAwesome, a kids technology company.

Why it matters: Parents were already struggling to limit screen time for kids when they were in school, let alone trying to pull them away from their devices while they are forced to stay home away from their friends, peers and regular activities.

Driving the news: In the U.S., a majority of 6–12 year-olds say they use screen devices either a lot more (at least 50% more), twice as much, or for what feels like “most of the day” during the coronavirus pandemic.

  • “Overall, kids are effectively going to be spending 2.5–3x more hours of day in front of a digital screen than they historically would have,” says Dylan Collins, CEO of SuperAwesome.
  • “What we were seeing is that U.K. kids had a slightly higher tendency to do more family-based stuff, as in physical family activity, like board games and table top games, than U.S. kids who spend more time with screens,” says Collins.

Details: Traffic to kids apps and digital services has increased by nearly 70% in the U.S., per the report.

  • “You’re seeing a slight increase in desktop, largely because of school demands,” says Collins. “A lot of families in a normal routine would have a single tablet shared between siblings, but because homeschooling needs to have consistent access to devices across multiple kids, you’re seeing desktop spike.”
  • Tablet traffic has nearly tripled, while phone traffic has nearly doubled. Assuming some children don’t yet own their own devices, especially phones, the data is likely a reflection of children using their parents’ devices to access kids sites.
  • Connected TV device usage is much higher in the U.S. than in the U.K. Connected TV usage seems to have leveled off over the past week or so, as more schools have begun to formally implement remote work and are back from spring break.
  • Overall, traffic to kids sites and apps in the U.S. is much higher than in the U.K., per the report.

Gender split data shows that girls over the past few weeks have typically used chat apps and TikTok more than boys and have read more. Boys on the other hand, have weighted much more heavily towards gaming.

  • Digital engagement between genders is also increasing, as children try to make up for the lack of in-person contact at school.

Be smart: It’s easy for parents to blame phones and tablets for an increase in digital engagement, but most kids say they are spending more time watching content on the TV screen than anything else.

  • Of the activities that kids say they are spending more time doing, streaming video tops the list across all ages of kids 6–12+, followed by watching regular TV, then playing games.
  • When it comes to streaming, the top brands that kids say they are engaging with are Netflix, followed by Amazon, YouTube, Apple and Disney+.
  • The data compliments figures out last week from Digiday that show that the total day viewing of many of the largest children’s TV networks, like The Cartoon Network, Disney Channel and Nickelodeon, have experienced massive upswings.

Yes, but: Levels of increased screen time can actually be a reflection of healthy engagement too, says Collins.

  • “The phenomenon of physical play being translated into a digital forum is something that we’re just beginning to see, and it’s hard to know exactly how that plays out in then next few months.”
  • “You see it coming out of the parents’ data that kids are starting to feel lonely and are missing friends. The next big question is, how do parents translate regular play into digital activity?”

The bottom line: For many parents who are forced to simultaneously balance child supervision and working at home, screen time limits have effectively been out of the picture.

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What a wildly improbable movie can teach us about mentoring https://kinshipparkrapids.org/what-a-wildly-improbable-movie-can-teach-us-about-mentoring/ https://kinshipparkrapids.org/what-a-wildly-improbable-movie-can-teach-us-about-mentoring/#respond Thu, 02 Apr 2020 13:39:26 +0000 https://kinshipparkrapids.org/?p=2058 by Jean Rhodes In the comedy, Role Models, two self-absorbed salesmen, Danny and Wheeler, are arrested following a road rage incident and elect to perform community service hours over going to jail. They are assigned to work at a mentoring program where Danny is paired with a nerdy role-playing game enthusiast while Wheeler finds himself trying […]

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by Jean Rhodes

In the comedy, Role Models, two self-absorbed salesmen, Danny and Wheeler, are arrested following a road rage incident and elect to perform community service hours over going to jail. They are assigned to work at a mentoring program where Danny is paired with a nerdy role-playing game enthusiast while Wheeler finds himself trying to connect with a foul-mouthed, street-wise kid who has repelled the overtures of countless previous mentors.

Forging connections with the mentees is anything but easy and, at a particularly low point, both men reconsider the jail sentence over this particular form of punishment. Over time, however, Danny is drawn into the world of his mentee’s fantasy games, supporting his interests in ways that the teen’s parents never would or could. Wheeler connects with his mentee over their shared, painful experiences of parental abandonment and eventually Wheeler leverages this trust into teaching his mentee valuable self-regulation skills. Both Danny and Wheeler gain wisdom and empathy along the way and their lives improve.

Although improbable, threads of this movie align with the latest research on relationships and, in doing so, capture several important truths about what makes mentoring work. Strip away the implausibility of sentencing criminals to mentoring, and strip away their crudeness and shockingly poor judgment, and some of the active ingredients of mentoring relationships are revealed—a positive connection.

The secrets to forging strong ties were recently illuminated in the book, Friend and Foe, by Business Professors Adam Galinsky and  Maurice Schweitzer of Columbia and University of Pennsylvania, respectively. In it, they provide sometimes counter-intuitive, but evidence-based strategies for handling the everyday relationship tensions and difficulties. Certain suggestions (e.g., screw up to gain trust) seem especially relevant to working with teens. Sometimes sharing a good laugh with your mentee at your own expense is a great way to make yourself seem more approachable. With the caveat that the Role Model mentors would be entirely inappropriate, here are six things that, according to research, they get right:

  1. Make mistakes. All too often, mentors try to be perfect role models when, in fact, their mentees are likely to be more responsive to them if they make (and admit) mistakes in ways that humanize them. In one study, people were asked to evaluate three job candidates. Two equally competent candidates were interviewed but, as part of the experiment, one spilled coffee all over his suit during the interview. A third candidate was less competent. The researchers found that the competent but clumsy candidate was most highly regarded  He seemed most approachable and more likable. Bottom line: mentors (parents, bosses, advisors, etc.) should stop worrying about being perfect. As long as they are trained and competent, it’s okay, perhaps even preferable, to mess up from time to time.
  2. Convey care and concern. The researchers describe one study in which a confederate approached people on a rainy day at a train station to ask if she could borrow their cell phone to make an important call. Sometimes she simply asked while in other instances she preceded the request with “Sorry about the rain.”  Only 9% agreed to help her out when she simply asked for the phone but nearly half agreed to help when the request was accompanied by the apology as it somehow conveyed warmth, trust, care, and concern. As the authors note, “Regardless of how superfluous the apology was, as long as it conveyed care and concern, it boosted perceptions of warmth and increased trust.”Other studies have shown similar requests–i.e., when an interruption is preceded by asking if it’s a good time to talk, people are more responsive. Small gestures of concern and care can go a long way.
  3. Connect around the mentee’s interest.  In Role Models, Danny went out of his way to learn about his mentee’s interests in role-playing, and once he got it, he proceeded to go deep into the experience himself. This sort of perspective-taking can go a long way in helping mentors understand what their mentee is experiencing and finding ways to draw on interests to leverage positive change.
  4. Ask for advice. Researchers have long shown that the simple act of asking someone for advice can help them to better see your perspective. Moreover, people think more of you when you ask for their advice. As the authors describe, “people fear that by asking advice, they will appear less competent. But this is a perspective-taking failure: When we ask for advice, as long as the request is not completely obvious, we appear to be more competent. After all, we have just flattered someone by seeking their advice.” This strategy can be particularly useful in hierarchical relationships like mentoring. As the authors note, “asking advice of someone below you on the hierarchical ladder — like when the boss asks a subordinate for their opinion — can have a powerful effect as well. The person below you in the hierarchy will be delighted to be acknowledged for their opinions and thrilled to have their expertise acknowledged.”
  5. Apologize the right way. Even with the best intentions, a mentor might do all sorts of things (miss a meeting, be distracted on their iPhone, or say something hurtful). But, beyond just a simple apology, it is sometimes best to commit to change in a way that better ensures that it won’t happen again,  “In our own research, we have found that a promise to change is one of the most important components of an apology… Though the simple apology helped, it was the promise to change that had the most impact on how much trust their partner placed in them in subsequent rounds of the experiment.” Of course, such apologies are never easy,  and research suggests that apologies can make one feel a loss of power in the relationship. But as the researchers would argue, it’s best to focus instead on what is achieved through apology, “As soon as you start to feel defensive or begin to rationalize some action that might have caused harm, take a moment of reflection. Take a step back and consider what an apology might accomplish. Even when we are justified in our actions and even when we acted with the best of intentions, there are times when an apology is the right course of action.”
  6. Have fun. We have new research (under review) to support this and drawing on current research, online evidence-based mentor training Mentoring Central has an entire segment devoted to the importance of having fun together. Moreover, research on child therapy has highlighted the importance of humor and laughter for creating a non-threatening climate that is conducive to disclosures and more serious discussions.

The comfort, familiarity, and closeness that humor conveys may be important to youth in feeling engaged and understood by key adults. Of course, humor in mentoring involves finesse. Adults must maintain boundaries and avoid misinterpretation, sarcasm or inappropriate jokes. But, with mounting research showing the benefits of age-appropriate humor, fun, and laughter in forging close relationships, this and other critical components should not be ignored.

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Mentoring a child is simpler than you think https://kinshipparkrapids.org/mentoring-a-child-is-simpler-than-you-think/ https://kinshipparkrapids.org/mentoring-a-child-is-simpler-than-you-think/#respond Tue, 04 Feb 2020 21:05:42 +0000 https://kinshipparkrapids.org/?p=1991 There are all kinds of ways that a caring adult can make a difference in the life of a child. With a little bit of effort and patience, you too can mentor a young person. Author: Lisa Bottomley, Michigan State University Extension Since the time of Homer and the Odyssey, the term mentor has been used to describe […]

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There are all kinds of ways that a caring adult can make a difference in the life of a child. With a little bit of effort and patience, you too can mentor a young person.

Author: Lisa BottomleyMichigan State University Extension

Since the time of Homer and the Odyssey, the term mentor has been used to describe a trusted role model and guide. Many adults can point to numerous people who served as a natural mentor to them as they were coming of age – people like coaches, teachers, neighbors or bosses who went the extra mile to provide them with support, encouragement, and friendship. Today, many young people struggle to find these natural mentors. Coaches and teachers often have additional job duties or extremely large classes that keep them from forming significant relationships with as many students as they would like. In general, we are less likely to know our neighbors and more likely to work longer hours that keep us away from our homes. So, how can we provide youth with mentoring relationships that provide support as they develop? There are simple things you can do to become a mentor to a young person in your life.

First of all, think about someone who mentored you. What qualities did she have that drew you to her? Are these traits that you demonstrate in your current relationships with young people? Small changes in how you interact with young people can lead to stronger relationships. Mentors are usually empathetic, consistent, patient and take the time to really listen to their mentees. A good mentor works to understand the young person’s goals and helps him reach them. This is in sharp contrast to the adult who believes that he knows what is best for a young person and tries to use his influence to push the youth in a specific direction.

Mentors often make their mentees feel special and important. You can do this by asking a young person for their opinion and paying attention to the answer. It is also important to be generous with genuine compliments. Notice the things that make this young person special and point them out. These compliments should be specific and related to who the young person is rather than focusing on things likes appearance or possessions.

One of the more difficult things that a good mentor does is holding the young person accountable for her actions. It is easy to ignore a difficult situation, but a young person grows by processing positive and negative experiences and learning from them. Holding someone accountable can be as simple asking, “What happened?” You want to consistently let the young person know that you believe in him. Sometimes believing in someone means pointing out that they can do better the next time.

If you do not have young people in your life and would still like to make a difference, consider becoming a mentor in a formal mentoring program. Formal programs, like 4-H Youth Mentoring, match caring role models with youth with the purpose of forming a supportive relationship. There are many types of mentoring programs to meet the needs of a variety of youth and volunteers. You can learn more about becoming a mentor by reading the article Make a difference through youth mentoring.

This article was published by Michigan State University Extension. For more information, visit http://www.msue.msu.edu. To have a digest of information delivered straight to your email inbox, visit http://www.msue.msu.edu/newsletters. To contact an expert in your area, visit http://expert.msue.msu.edu, or call 888-MSUE4MI (888-678-3464).

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Mandated Reporter Training – Maltreatment Types https://kinshipparkrapids.org/mandated-reporter-training-maltreatment-types/ https://kinshipparkrapids.org/mandated-reporter-training-maltreatment-types/#respond Tue, 14 Jan 2020 15:00:19 +0000 https://kinshipparkrapids.org/?p=1822 This Minnesota Department of Human Services training is for individuals mandated to report child maltreatment. There are several types of maltreatment that you are required to report. This video will provide you with a broad overview of each type of maltreatment to help you better understand what and when to report. There are five types […]

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This Minnesota Department of Human Services training is for individuals mandated to report child maltreatment. There are several types of maltreatment that you are required to report. This video will provide you with a broad overview of each type of maltreatment to help you better understand what and when to report. There are five types of maltreatment that are reportable: Neglect, Physical abuse, Sexual abuse, Mental injury and Threatened injury.

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