This month, we’re focusing on how to build resilience in the students we mentor.

Remember…resilience is the ability to cope with and bounce back in the face of life’s challenges and demands. It’s having the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties or setbacks.

“Resiliency” is a term we often use to describe someone who is able to weather the storms of life. One of the biggest ways that you can build resilience in your mentee is to help them learn how to weather the storms they are facing, rather than looking for ways that you can rescue them. To rephrase a popular parenting motto out there, as mentors we want to “prepare our mentees for the road, not the road for our mentees.”

Here are 3 ways you can help your mentee build resilience:

Show them they have the power to change events. When talking through different situations that your mentee has been through (both positive and negative), ask them to identify how their actions changed the outcome.
Help them learn from past experiences. Ask them to talk about situations they have been involved in where they would have liked a different outcome. And, then help them to think about what they could have done differently to change the outcome. (This is a great opportunity to share some of your own ideas and similar experiences as well).
Enforce their self-belief by giving them opportunities to identify and explore things they are good at. You can help them with this by focusing on specific achievements and situations they have handled well. (For example, you could start by asking them to share about something they’ve done that made them feel good about themselves and give them affirmation for that).

–Jason Matthews, BTO Mentor Coach