Monday, July 20, 2009
Almost a whole year now. As my daughter approaches her tenth birthday I realize that we have enjoyed weekly tea times for a whole year already. As with many routines in some ways it seems much longer and in others it seems we have only just begun.
(If you want a little background, you can read about our first tea time, time spent "just" talking, and a few thoughts on how mentoring changes the mentor as well).
We both thoroughly enjoy Beautiful Girlhood as the springboard for our conversations.
Some of what I have learned about intentionally mentoring our children in the past year:
- Intentionality differs from obligation.
- The mentor learns about as much (some days more) than the mentoree
- Investing time in lives accomplishes more than you can ever imagine (grows relationships, develops love, challenges intellect, builds a vision for the future, gives a new glimpse into the eternal, satisfies and leaves you hungering for more)
- It needs a set time, but it also changes your perspective 24-7
- Kids need at least a little time with just you.
- This time will be gone before we know it
- It establishes habits when the ground is fertile
I still walk through the thick of it, so don't know for sure the outcome. I know that we are right now building invaluable foundations for the teenage and early adult years. I wish I had had this with my mom, maybe we wouldn't have lost so many years together.
Our conversations run the gamut, and our prayer time together is precious. Her insights are thought provoking and inspiring. I am often in awe of God already at work in her young life.
Mentoring also gives a platform for the challenges that come up throughout the week. Because we have these deep, spiritual discussions, we are on the same page. When her attitude slips, I can pull her back more easily. I know her heart, and she knows that I correct her because I care so deeply about who she is and who she is to become.
Taking specific, purposeful time with my daughter has been more amazing than I could have anticipated. I look forward to where this journey will continue to take us in the years ahead.
So what's holding you back? Pick a time, get together and make a difference on a whole new level. Do you already have a mentoring plan (structured or more free-spirited)? Please share! We can all learn from each other.