By Daniel Bowen-Smith
It’s been a long term for one of my mentees but his been able to come out the other end with a smile on his face and a much better person for it!
At the end of every term I always do a review session with children and young people in groups or one to one. My first question is always the same... “How do you feel now?” Knowing they haven’t even thought about it yet. Well today was no different, we sat down and i asked this young man the same question and I got a different response which made me smile... he simply said “I feel happy” 😊 through out year 6 his always had to stand in front of the head teacher to explain his actions, trying to defend himself from a situation he created or got himself involved in. We had to REALLY Look at the situation and break it down so over time he could see what and where he was going wrong but also balance it out with praise for what he got right. A lot of mixed emotions with highs and lows and then came lock down 🤦🏿♂️ but this young man was resilient! Came in to school when he could and got his head down to get a head start to improve his own behaviour and knowledge. Teachers started to see the change in him as well and spoke to him differently. He also saw the changes which made him feel weird 😂 but also encouraged.
We spoke about a number of issues from his behaviour in school to his behaviour at home to his personality around friends, taste in music and games, secondary school which also brought out the myths and facts and finding our feet as a young man growing up in today’s society. I tried not to leave anything out but still trying to keep his head on straight. Now we came to our final session of this term and we wrote down two statements.... “how it used to be vs how it is” as well as his thoughts and feelings towards himself then and now. I’m glad his seen the changes for what it is and happy that he made the right choice, which was his future...
To all those working with children and young people. Don’t look at the end results but HELP them SEE the the journey! Don’t think “what I’m say is going over their head” because they know a lot more than it seems with all that is going on in today’s world 🌎
As you can see the journey wasn’t easy but the end results made the journey worth it!
If you have a difficult young person just do what I did;
Form a positive relationship
Draw out a CLEAR plan of action
Check in once or twice a week
Show them where they went wrong
Show them where you’ve gone wrong! (Read that again)
Set reachable goals
SHOW UP FOR THEM ON TIME. (Especially male mentors/Role Models)
And if you have to, go back a few steps and start again.
Unfortunately my work with this young man has come to an end but I will always check up on him where I can and wish him well.
When your doing what you love it never feels like work! And when your helping others be a better version of themselves it should always feel like motivation.
Job well done to this young man! And I wish him well for the future... his journey is just beginning.
Life of a Mentor