Gratitude over Christmas

Wow, what a month, Christmas is here (well almost)! We are having more and more schools ask about our mentoring services, which is exciting. In this blog, I am going to write about the following:

  • Why is COFFEE so important?!

  • Our new resource for the month

  • How you can get involved.

I hope you enjoy our blog and find it useful.

Why Is COFFEE so important?!

If you have read my blogs or have seen my vlogs you will know by now that I like coffee!

In fact while I am writing this, guess what? I am drinking a coffee! Anyway, let's get down to business.

Just like many pastoral roles, mentoring takes its toll on the mentor. Listening to so many issues, battles, and problems can be challenging to digest, especially when you are at capacity. I am fortunate, as there are two mentors in our school, and we work together closely. There have been times where we have gone from one mentee to the next. We realised we were hurried, because of this we were not performing at our best. The mentoring turned in to a tick box exercise. 'Tick, we have seen that one.' Both of us reflected and saw that this was not helping us or our mentees. So we decided to have coffee and find a solution.

In that time, we understood what was going wrong, and as you are reading this blog, it is so apparent to you what we were doing wrong. However, we are all guilty when life makes us hurry and to try and tick the boxes, knowing that it is not our best work. The other mentor and I have regular coffee breaks after we have seen a few mentees. One, to discuss our mentees and have extra time to plan and review, and two, to breathe! When we decided to have these regular 'coffee breaks', we lost mentoring time, so instead of seeing six mentees in the morning, we saw five. That for us was the difference from being hurried to busy. When we have these breaks, we are not just twiddling our thumbs; we are getting our heads in the right place. Once we tried seeing fewer children and gave ourselves more reflection time, we saw that our mentees were, once again, receiving our best. Make sure you are busy but not hurried. In case it might be helpful for you, below is our timetable:

08:30 ~ Group mentoring session + 1 one-to-one mentoring sessions

09:20 ~ Coffee break

09:30 ~ 2 one-to-one mentoring session

10:30 ~ Coffee Break

10:45 ~ 1 mentoring session + Review mentoring sessions

11:30 ~ Lunch.

Our new RESOURCE for the month.

We are happy to announce that our new resource is out! This will carry on our Habitude series by focusing on 'gratitude'. Christmas is just around the corner, so we think that this is the perfect time to be highlighting 'gratitude'. The resource starts by asking, 'when was the last time you said the words, thank you?' As children, we are usually taught to say thank you every time we receive something. However, as we grow up, we seem to lose the words. We start taking things for granted rather than being grateful.

When we help children & young people understand what gratitude is and remind them that there are many things they can be grateful for, it changes their mindset; they go from 'I want' to 'I have'. As I am writing this blog, it is still November. However, Christmas is almost here (did i mention that already?). Children are writing Christmas lists and are continually telling me what Santa is getting them for Christmas. Quite a few times I hear 'I am getting a new...'. I have had a few exciting conversations about the presents Santa is bringing some of the children whom I mentor. Here is one of them.

"Mr Campbell, guess what I am getting for Christmas!"

"I don't know, are you getting socks?"

"No! Santa is getting me a new phone." (the child is 8)

"Excellent! What is wrong with your old one?"

"It's old, and I want a new one."

"Does the phone you have now still work."

"Yeh."

We live in a world that is doing this to everyone in it. A world where every few months (and in some cases days) we need something new. We are happy, for a while, with our new item; however, I would argue that we are not grateful for these things.

Now when I am saying this, I am mostly speaking about electronics. If we were genuinely grateful for our smartphone, why do we so quickly upgrade?

Gratitude is something that we need to be teaching our children and young people. This pattern of 'I want new things just because there is newer model' needs to stop. It is telling our children that we need new things to be happy and we can't be satisfied without them. If we teach gratitude to children and young people, they will learn that they can be satisfied with what they already have.

How to get INVOLVED with what we do.

We continue to look for schools and other organisations to become partners. We know we are only a drop in the ocean. We know we cannot create the impact we want on our own. At the moment, I mentor around 20 children a week in school. My capacity is almost full. I know mentoring works, but I cannot do it alone. I knew this, which is why I set up the business so that others can benefit from what we have to offer. Children and young people need role-models who they can speak to and watch and look up to. They need to see how their mentors tackle problems. Seeing is sometimes believing.

To get involved, head over to our website (listenupmentor.org) and sign up to one of our packages.

Or you could email me at info@listenupmentor.org to see how we can partner together.

Merry Christmas Everyone.

See you in the new year!

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