You need Adobe Flash Player to view some content on this site.

Click to install Adobe Flash Player

The next phase of the mentoring relationship is "Navigating Challenges and Growing." Like all relationships, mentoring relationships evolve and change—and, like all relationships, its progression can be complicated and surprising. We’ll review a few of the kind of challenges that emerge even in the best of mentoring relationships and suggest strategies for managing these challenges.

Navigating Challenges

A deeper connection can also uncover new challenges.

When you and your mentee are comfortable and connected, and things seem to be going well, it is common for challenges to arise. For example, your mentee may:

  • confide in you about something that puts her or someone else at risk of harm
  • skip several planned activities or distance herself from you
  • do something that seems to jeopardize her future

While there is much more information about handling challenges in Module 6: "Overcoming Common Challenges," the following are some suggestions for approaching difficult situations.

You need Adobe Flash Player to view some content on this site.

Click to install Adobe Flash Player

Audio Transcript

There is no audio available for this interactivity.

1. Stay within the boundaries of your role as a mentor.

It is often more appropriate that other adults in your mentee’s life help her to handle significant challenges. Focus on being the best mentor you can be within the limits of your relationship. Make sure you know whom to contact at your mentoring program if you need support or if something arises with your mentee that you’re not sure how to handle. For example, your mentoring program coordinator can provide an objective perspective and can connect your mentee to appropriate resources and services. It is also important to remember that, in most cases, your mentee’s parents and/or caregivers are deeply invested in her well-being. Work to keep lines of communication open with your mentee’s parent/caregiver, and seek his or her permission and guidance as appropriate.

You need Adobe Flash Player to view some content on this site.

Click to install Adobe Flash Player

Audio Transcript

There is no audio available for this interactivity.

2. Don’t take it personally.

Remember that if your mentee behaves poorly or puts herself or others at risk, it is not an indication of the youth’s feelings toward you, nor is it a sign that she has a character or personality flaw. Acting out is normal behavior to be expected of children and adolescents.

You need Adobe Flash Player to view some content on this site.

Click to install Adobe Flash Player

Audio Transcript

There is no audio available for this interactivity.

3. Prioritize the safety of your mentee.

As an adult friend - not a peer - you have an obligation to report to mentoring program staff if you learn about something that puts your mentee at risk. Even if you are a trained social worker or human services professional, in this relationship you are a mentor, not a case worker. Although your mentee may be angry at you for sharing this information, explain that you must put her safety first, no matter what.

You need Adobe Flash Player to view some content on this site.

Click to install Adobe Flash Player

Audio Transcript

There is no audio available for this interactivity.

4. Model commitment and consistency.

Even with solid agreements and contracts in place, your mentee may not show up for mentoring activities or live up to commitments. While this can be frustrating, remember that reliability and consistency are critical behaviors to model for your mentee.

You need Adobe Flash Player to view some content on this site.

Click to install Adobe Flash Player

Audio Transcript

There is no audio available for this interactivity.

5. Look for teachable moments - and note the positive.

The mentoring relationship provides many opportunities for your mentee to discuss and practice life skills. For example, if your mentee consistently misses or shows up late for mentoring activities, it’s likely that there are other situations where he doesn’t show up when he should. Ask him open-ended questions about his schedule and his communication with you. Support your mentee as he develops this and other life skills. Look for the good in your mentee and be sure to verbalize what you observe.

You need Adobe Flash Player to view some content on this site.

Click to install Adobe Flash Player

Audio Transcript

There is no audio available for this interactivity.

6. Seek support from program staff.

Some mentees, particularly those from challenging backgrounds, may fear success or be concerned that they will be criticized by former friends for “selling out.” As a result, some youth may relapse and have violent outbursts, become withdrawn, hang out with peers who exert a negative influence, or engage in petty crime. Turn to mentoring program staff for support to help you address these challenges. For more information about specific populations of youth, see Module 2: "Understanding Your Mentee's Background."

You need Adobe Flash Player to view some content on this site.

Click to install Adobe Flash Player

Audio Transcript

There is no audio available for this interactivity.

7. Communicate openly with your mentee’s parent/caregiver and mentoring program staff.

Talking with your mentee’s parent/caregiver about the challenge that has emerged may help you to better understand the situation. A lack of communication can leave you and the parent feeling frustrated; and it is not helpful for your mentee to observe tension between you and her parent/caregiver.

You need Adobe Flash Player to view some content on this site.

Click to install Adobe Flash Player

Audio Transcript

There is no audio available for this interactivity.

8. Listen actively.

Active listening takes practice, but it can be a very effective way to respond and communicate in almost any situation. Visit Module 5: "Communicating with Your Mentee" for guidance about how to be an active listener.

Your focus during this stage is on remaining committed while navigating challenges, remembering that your mentee’s life experiences may have shaped her behavior. Please see Module 2: "Understanding Your Mentee's Background" and Module 6: "Overcoming Common Challenges" for additional information on how specific risk factors can impact youth and how to manage challenging scenarios, respectively.

Meet youth on their own terms.

You need Adobe Flash Player to view some content on this site.

Click to install Adobe Flash Player

Audio Transcript

There is no audio available for this interactivity.
To navigate through this module, use the menu in the left-hand column.
TCAM Partners

 

The Center for the Advancement of Mentoring Partners

TCAM is a project of Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC), in collaboration with Dare Mighty Things, Inc. (DMT); Dr. Roger Jarjoura of Indiana University and founder of Aftercare for the Incarcerated Through Mentoring; and Dennis Talbert, President of Empower Outreach, a faith-based mentoring program for high-risk youth. TCAM is funded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP).

 

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) Logo

 

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) supports states, local communities, and tribal jurisdictions in their efforts to develop and implement effective programs for juveniles. OJJDP of the U.S. Department of Justice strives to strengthen the juvenile justice system's efforts to protect public safety, hold offenders accountable, and provide services that address the needs of youth and their families. OJJDP plays a vital, leadership role in the field of youth mentoring in the United States.

 

Education Development Center (EDC) Logo

 

Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC). EDC is an international, non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing learning and promoting health. EDC works to reduce barriers and disparities with an emphasis on the most vulnerable populations, especially those living in poverty. EDC builds the capacity of practitioners to reduce juvenile delinquency through strategies such as mentoring system-involved youth; restorative justice; dropout prevention; and prevention/early intervention for youth violence, gang involvement, and alcohol and other drug use.

 

Dare Mighty Things (DMT) Logo

 

Dare Mighty Things, Inc. (DMT) is a management consulting firm specializing in the development of large-scale programs that impact vulnerable populations. DMT works with national, state, and local organizations to develop large-scale, outcome-based social initiatives for at-risk and high-risk populations.

User Guide

 

In each section of this lesson, you will be presented with three tiers of information. The following descriptions will help you navigate this self-guided experience.

 

Media Player: The main media player at the top of the screen is an audio- and video-based overview of the section. Press play to see and hear the overview. You may pause at any time by clicking the pause button on the bottom left of the player. The buttons at the bottom right of the player allow you to control the volume and shift the video to full screen.

 

On-Screen Text: Below the main media player you will see on-screen text. This includes the detailed information you need to know in order to accomplish the learning objectives for the lesson.

 

Icons: Within the on-screen text segments, you may see special icons, each representing a different kind of interactivity. Some interactivities include audio. Note: Depending on your browser, the audio may continue to play to the end of the sequence if you close an interactivity while the audio is playing.

Interactivities List

 

 

TCAM Online Training Series for Mentors and Mentoring Program Staff Terms and Conditions for Use

Overview

The TCAM Online Training Series for Mentors and Mentoring Program Staff was developed by TCAM—The Center for the Advancement of Mentoring. It is designed to be used free of charge by youth mentoring programs funded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) of the U.S. Department of Justice and by other mentoring providers and individuals.

 

The TCAM Online Training Series for Mentors and Mentoring Program Staff includes six online training modules for mentors, which are intended to be used in combination with in-person mentor training provided by mentoring programs, as well as two online modules for mentoring program staff about designing and delivering in-person mentor training. The content of the training series is informed by mentoring research and best practice, the expertise of the TCAM Leadership Team, and TCAM’s experience providing technical assistance to OJJDP mentoring grantees. Each module is designed to be completed in approximately 30 minutes, and individuals may opt to complete one or more of the eight modules.

 

Technical Requirements
Viewing and Downloading PDFs

Some of the materials in this training series are posted in PDF format. PDF, which stands for Portable Document Format, is a popular format for distributing documents on the Internet. To view and print PDF documents, you need the free Acrobat Reader software. If you do not have Acrobat Reader installed on your computer, go to the Adobe website and follow the directions to download and install the software.

 

Multimedia Software

The training series contains some links to multimedia resources. To be able to experience the full multimedia effects, you may need the following free software download:

 

Enabling Javascript

To use the training series, JavaScript must be enabled in your computer’s browser. For Internet Explorer, go to Tools > Internet Options and select the “Security” tab; click “Custom Level” near the bottom; scroll down to “Scripting” and make sure “Enable” is selected under “Active scripting." For Firefox, go to Tools > Options > Content > Enable JavaScript (checked). For Safari, go to Preferences > Click Security > Check Enable JavaScript. Close the window and click Reload.

 

Link Check

All of the links in this training series are checked regularly; however, the Web is an ever-changing medium, and you may find that some of the links don’t work. If you find a broken link, please report it.  Note that if you find a broken within a reading or resource on another website, only the owners of that website can repair the link.

 

Course Accessibility

This training series contains accessibility features to accommodate the needs of individuals with disabilities. The developers of the training series aim to achieve W3C WAI Priority 2 level. If you have difficulty using any aspect of this training series, please contact the Technical Facilitator at tcamsupport@edc.org or 617-618-2334.

 

Contact Information

This training series was created by The Center for the Advancement of Mentoring, operated by Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC), in the performance of Grant No. 2009-JU-FX-K001 awarded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice.

 

For content-related questions about the training series:

TCAM Project Director (ijonesturner@edc.org; 617-618-2346)

 

For technical questions about the training series:

Technical Facilitator  (tcamsupport@edc.org; 617-618-2334)

 

 

Skillbuilding Exercises

arrow

  • Meet youth on their own terms.

    Meet youth on their own terms.

    You need Adobe Flash Player to view some content on this site.

    Click to install Adobe Flash Player

    Audio Transcript

    There is no audio available for this interactivity.