BE PATIENT: Building trust takes time. A young person may not show it at first, but your help may be just what is needed. Be persistent.
PRAISE IS POWER: A word of praise in a critical world works miracles in the life of a child.
SET BOUNDARIES: Most mentoring relationships develop and flourish without problems. Occasionally, however, something comes up. Mentors have an important role, but this doesn't include replacing family or social service professionals. A mentor can help guide a young person to the appropriate source for additional help.
TRY TO UNDERSTAND A CHILD'S VIEWPOINT: Even if you don't share his or her point of view, trying to appreciate it shows you care.
CELEBRATE DIFFERENCES: Experienced mentors report that working with a young person from a different background broadened their own horizons and deepened their understanding of other people and cultures. Sometimes it is the differences that make the difference.
BE HONEST: Kids know adults aren't perfect. If you make mistakes, admit it. Say you're sorry. It's a skill a child may only learn from you.
BE THERE: Just the sound of your concerned voice can make a big difference in the life of a child.
BE POSITIVE: Ask yourself, "What encouragement can I give if my young friend disappoints himself or herself?" Mentors are in the business of helping young people make the most of their lives. Allow the child to make a few "growing" mistakes when they learn new things.
BELIEVE: Many children in our communities struggle with self-esteem. Your faith in them can be the greatest gift you can give.