It’s tough asking for advice.
Well, it’s not tough to ask for advice. It’s tough to ask for advice when you think someone might actually disagree with your plans or opinion.
Asking for someone to rubber stamp something you’ve been working on or tell you that your ill-conceived idea is terrific is easy. We all love a good yes man.
But it’s not what we need. We need an advocate that listens to us, knows us, and is not afraid to challenge us when we are wrong.
Mentoring a student is really no different. Because, as we all know, kids, especially teenagers, pretty much know everything. But maybe, just maybe, if there were a trusted adult, who isn’t their parent, to come along side and simply ask questions like:
Are you sure about that?
What if that isn’t true?
Maybe there is another way?
Could it be that this isn’t the best answer?
Maybe in that situation, we’d break through and get their attention by showing them that we do care and we aren’t going anywhere.
This kind of bond doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time to build a bond like that. You can’t show up once and start telling a kid what to do. Actually, I can’t think of any relationship where you get to show up and on the first day start telling someone what to do.
To have that kind of relationship you have to keep showing up and be consistent and really work to be the kind of friend that shows the commitment where you actually win the right to be heard.
Then you develop the kind friendship King Solomon talked about in Ecclesiastes:
Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord with three strands is not easily broken.