by Teryl Cartwright, instructor of the Timothy Circle mentor training

Parents, there are some important things you should (and shouldn’t!) talk about with your youth or young adult when it comes to their conversations with their mentor. Treat any discussions like conversations you have about other aspects of your child’s life such as school, activities, and youth group. Being overly interested or not as interested in mentoring compared to the rest of your child’s life can cause them anxiety or apathy. Try to strike a good balance.

Conversations you should have:

  • Ask for prayers requests from your child for their concerns, their mentor, and others.
  • Talk about specific ways you can best help with any assignments or next steps given for in between the mentoring sessions.
  • Discuss interesting or new ideas they are exploring or any reflections from scriptures.
  • Give answers from questions they ask about your faith experiences.

Conversations you shouldn’t have:

  • Interrogate your child for every detail of the mentoring session.
  • Offer negative comparisons or dismissive criticisms of others’ faith experiences.
  • Ask for your child to divulge any confidential experiences from the mentor’s life.
  • Talk about the mentoring session with other adults without the permission and involvement of your child.
  • Share your own mentoring experiences without being asked by your child.


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