A friend recently e-mailed to see what suggestions I had for her as she started a mentoring relationship with a girl in high school. Here were my thoughts. I hope you’ll add your suggestions, too! I think the most important things that you can do with a young person are share yourself, reinforce their strengths, and give them greater exposure to the world. Here are some ideas that might help facilitate those things:
Get her a journal. In fact, take her to a bookstore and let her pick out her very own journal. Every now and again, give her a prompt that you will also reflect on. The next time you get together, share your answers to the prompt.
Read a book together at the same time.
Go to the movies or a play/ performance together and then grab ice cream so you can discuss.
Visit the local museums, zoos, and aquariums to check out the latest exhibits.
Take a class together—from pottery to painting to something that isn’t creative at all.
Visit a college campus together and take a tour.
Show her pictures of your youth and tell her stories. Invite her to show you pictures and do the same.
Take her to a meal at a restaurant that offers cuisine she has never had.
Take her to the library to get a library card if she doesn’t have one.