Mentoring is great if you understand how to reach the child that you are mentoring in the first place. If you can feel the hunger or smell the fear that comes off of the children you are mentoring. When a child has one parent dead and another in prison if you can not relate how can you help. To reach them you have to be them in every way. A theory of how to reach a child that has been abused whether physical and or emotionally is not all it will take.
You have to get inside of what they are feeling to reach them. Can you do that can you feel what they have felt? The environment that they live in have you ever been there. The lost one’s that you can not reach is because they already know you have not been there. So they will take as much as you are willing to give but they must still survive for themselves. If they have a brother or a sister to look out for while mommy or daddy is serving time. What do you think they will do to survive, they will do just about anything. The one’s that make it out had dreams from the very start. When a child has a dream to make a break through that is exactly what will happen because they held onto that dream.
But what about children that do not have a dream to go anywhere but where they are? What do you mentor them in, when there is acceptance in there situation what can you do. The prison system is filled with people who knew where they were headed and for them it is was it is. Have you ever sat down with someone who has 20 years and does not want to be released out of prison a repeat offender. They come out long enough to make another life and go right back into jail. Because in jail there are rules but a different set of rules apply the responsibility of the lost children not all of them care.
On parent teacher day or family day how can you explain to a child that your there and you understand, if you have never lived it you can’t actually say that you understand. Have you ever been in a household where you truly were not wanted or shuffled into different foster systems. The likely hood of a child being a survivor and a mentor being able to save them is 50/50. The reality of the situation are most of the kids are also serving time just not in four walls, they serving time in the street just trying to survive day after day, night after night. Take a look in the inner city how many small children can you find out late at night with no parents. What are the odds that eventually the streets will swallow them up.
When you do not see one child for a while do not worry there will be another child in there place because they all hungry and must find a way to eat. Prison for most of these kids is a joke and mentoring to save them from prison can be a bigger joke. Unless you have some battle scars to show them to let them know you can relate how can you keep them from becoming a criminal?