There are currently more than 5,000 mentoring programs in the United States that serve approximately three million youth in the United States. The use of mentoring has been seen as a tier-three intervention for students with emotional and behavioral disorders (EDB). Students with EBD tend to show problematic behaviors that impact their academic performance, social networking, and executive functioning. Many people with EBD need support but are too afraid of the stigmas with getting help
One way that these students can receive help is by finding mentors. By using mentors, students can be provided with social support, skill development, and a sense of belonging without feeling stigmatized since they are paired with someone to develop a meaningful relationship.
What Is Mentoring?
Mentoring does not take a gamble like playsugarhouse. Those that undergo mentoring should have a mutual trust and empathy between mentor and mentee, the development of social-emotional learning, cognitive effects, and sense of identity, and parental involvement.
Each form of mentorship can take on a different form. Some students may need just a positive role model. Some students may need academic support. However, some students have more significant needs. Students that have depression may need group therapy, family sessions, and extra time with a clinician. Those who battle behavioral, academic, or interpersonal problems may need positive role models and outside agencies outside of school.
Mentoring has shown to benefit students with EBD and the mentor themselves across multiple domains. Psychological and emotional support have been linked to helping one’s mental poker chipset. There is strong support that mentees found mentorship to be beneficial for talking out their life problems and gaining a perspective and support. Mentoring has strong evidence to support that at-risk behaviors dropped significantly when programs employ one-to-one mentor to mentee relationships.
How Does Mentoring Work?
One of the most effective mentoring strategies includes a check-in, check-out (CICO) system. By using CICO, students are paired with a peer or an adult and meet with their mentor at the beginning of the day to review behavioral goals. Students will have a reward system in place to motivate the positive behavior that is rehearsed with their mentor. Students with a structured system have been linked to a higher grade point average and a decrease in self-destructive behavior. By communicating with their mentor each day, students are able to talk about potential problematic behaviors, but also develop problem-solving strategies to deal with handling those behaviors during the school day.
Mentoring uses a lot of “play” strategies to develop these relationships. This could include playing board games, reading, or talking. These strategies are linked to improved relationships, while kids attending school experience unexcused absences, fewer disciplinary referrals, and increased outward expression of positive feelings.
Taken from Pixabay
Beginning The Relationship
When developing a mentoring program to meet the needs of the mentees, the relationship needs to be something that will last over time. School-based mentoring programs have benefits such as fewer time commitments, greater structure, and more supervision, but have lower intensity compared to community-based programs School-based programs need to use data to make decisions, use needs assessments to identify what area of support is needed for the mentee, and have an effective coordinator to build and sustain relationships to retain people.
The use of goal setting is understated as well when having these relationships. By using goal setting, students improve self-regulation towards positive behavior. When paired with a mentor, positive behavior is influenced even more when the student is influenced to make progress towards the goal.
The relationship needs to be given time. The majority of adolescents are more likely to terminate the relationship compared to 10-12 year olds. This is due to prior relationship deficiencies, which has led to the individual feeling vulnerable or insecure. Relationships can be deteriorated due to the mentor not having enough training too, so some grace needs to be given on their end. Most mentors found they did not have the confidence to relate to individuals with trauma in their lives.
To implement a successful mentoring program, four main components should be followed: recruitment, screening, training, and matching Training mentors to be able to respond to students with emotional distress in their lives is very important. This helps build the one-to-one relationship, which yields the best results. Positive mentee outcomes are due to “a sense of belonging.”
However, mentoring does not serve all populations. The causal effect on mentoring is still unknown. Despite having positive outcomes, systematic studies have shown that the overall help for students with emotional distress is nine percentile points. Students with severe needs should not just be given the mentoring strategy alone. Students that have dealt with gang violence, drug abuse, and other pressing problems can use mentoring, but mentoring should not be viewed as the only solution.
Communication with mentors does not just have to come from in-person meetings. E-mentoring is a growing trend (especially during COVID-19) where a student is paired with an individual that could live out of the town, county, or state. The individuals find an electronic way to communicate which could be through Email, LISTSERVS, chat groups, or computer contents.
Parents have a stronger influence at home than the support system at the school. There is a strong correlation with success in mentoring programs as long as parents are involved. Parents who receive practice through the mentoring program gain a better understanding of how to build caring relationships, provide guidance, and put themselves in charge. By developing these skills, parents developed a positive self-belief which helped manage the problematic behavior in a more positive way.
For kids that have behavioral problems, finding a great mentor can help. Finding someone that can help install key values, coping strategies, and a role model can change a person’s life. Having the same support system at home can yield even more positive results. In the end, mentoring is a proven strategy to help struggling children with behavioral problems.