This page will answer many common questions parents may have about both their role and that of the mentor as well as provide some basic guidelines and ground rules for helping make the mentoring relationship a success.
If you have questions at any time, please contact your program coordinator.
What should I do if my child cannot attend a meeting with the mentor?
To encourage responsibility in your child, have him/her call the mentor when a meeting must be rescheduled. If the youth is very ill, you may want to call yourself. Be sure you have the phone numbers to reach the mentor at home and at work.
What if family plans conflict with a meeting?
The mentor should complement or add to family opportunities. Time with the mentor is not intended to displace time with the family. As most mentoring will be happening in school, there shouldn’t be many conflicts.
As much as possible, the mentor and your child will plan their time around your child’s normal school schedule. It may be helpful to let the mentor and your child know about planned family events that might interrupt their meetings. Your child should let you know when they are attending special activities organized by GrandAM. Good advance communication will help avoid conflicts.
Can I (or other family members) meet with my child and the mentor?
A mentoring relationship is special, in part, because it is a one-to-one relationship. Even teens that feel very close to their parents sometimes need to talk with friends outside the family. The mentor is an adult friend with whom your child can talk about things that he or she is learning or might be concerning him/her. Your child can inform you about their plans and activities each week. If at any time you are uncomfortable with their plans, please let them know. Mentors will be sensitive to parent concerns and will try to find an arrangement that is acceptable to you.
How can I be sure that the mentor will support my rules and regulations?
Talk with the mentor about rules or regulations that you expect to arise in his/her relationship with your child. If you have strict rules about what he/she may read or foods he/she may not eat, please discuss these with the mentor. By making this information known at the beginning, you can help avoid misunderstandings later.
What if the mentor says things with which I do not agree?
No matter how carefully we match mentors and students, you may find some areas where your beliefs or ideas differ from the mentor’s. If these are important to you, let the mentor know. You can request that the mentor NOT question your most important beliefs or values when with your child.
Mentors are expected to discuss parents’ beliefs and values respectfully. Letting your child know that you respectfully disagree with the mentor can help your son/daughter begin to form opinions on his/her own. This is especially important during early adolescence as part of young people search for his or her identity. The mentoring program is a chance to explore different points of views.
Who will pay for the activities of the mentor and youth?
If the planned activities involve fees, Grand Area Mentoring will pay for both the mentor and mentee. You need not pay for activities. The most important part of the mentoring program is the relationship between the mentor and the youth, not a lot of costly activities.
The youth should not expect the mentor to buy things for him/her. As with any friend, this should be appreciated when and if it occurs, not expected on a regular basis. GrandAM does not support or recommend gift giving to its mentors.
If my child has misbehaved, should I allow him/her to see the mentor?
The mentor’s weekly visit should not be used to discipline your child. Time with the mentor is a pleasure but it is also a time of learning and growth. Punishing your child by denying time with the mentor puts you in opposition to the mentor instead of emphasizing your mutual concern to build your child’s competence. Even if your child is grounded, the mentor should be allowed to see him/her. Do let the mentor know the reason for the youth being grounded.
How often should I be in contact with the mentor, and how much should I say about family problems/concerns?
Get to know the mentor well enough to feel comfortable with him/her being with your child. If there is an issue you feel the mentor should know about, call him/her when your son or daughter is not present.
What if there are concerns or questions I don’t want to discuss with the mentor?
Please feel free to call Dan, the program coordinator. Dan is here to help make the program work for students, mentors, and parents. He will call you several times during the year to see how things are going. But don’t wait for him/her to call; we want to know about anything that concerns you!
When and How To Get Help If Problems Come Up:
This program was created to offer your child opportunities, to help develop his or her skills, and to be a lot of fun! If for any reason you find that you have questions about the program, or any person associated with it, we want you to call us right away. No question or concern is too small or too big. We are providing several telephone numbers for you; please feel free to use any of them. If you would prefer to contact someone not listed here, such as other school staff, please feel free to do that as well. You may want to add a few of these other numbers to this list so you will know where they are if you need them.
Program Director 435-260-9646
Program Office – 435-259-1516
Mentor Coordinator – 435-260-9645
District Office – 435-259-5317
Remember, you should get help if a problem occurs. If one person is not available (or is not helpful) go on to the next person on this list.