A few years ago, I joined a Mentoring Program: Big Brother, Big
Sister. I was randomly placed with a disadvantaged child. Well, it didn't work out so good. Maybe I am too bossy, maybe she was too stubborn, or maybe we just had a personality conflict. In any case, we were not a good match.
When I would tell her to say: "Street" instead of "Skreet" and "Strawberry" instead of "Skrawberry", ect - she accused me of talking like a "white girl". And it absolutely drove me crazy that she was ten and still sucked her thumb. But what could I say when her sister who was 14 still sucked her thumb and her 18 year old brother sucked his thumb!? Gross!
Anyway, we did do some fun stuff, like go to a strawberry patch then make strawberry shortcake. And go to the local Walmart and buy flip-flops (I was in Warner Robins - there was not much we could do). But finally we both got on each other's nerves enough and I stopped picking her up.
Well, I felt guilty about it - felt like I failed a child (I feel guilty about everything). So when my cousin started his blog, encouraging everyone to start mentoring, I was reluctant. However, after my failed volunteering attempt, I did decide to sign up with a program. Meanwhile, my mom's god- daughter who needs a lot of attention and who's mom is unable to give it to her came over to my house. She was ooohing and aaahing about my old raggedy sewing machine. And was elated that I let her use it. That's when it hit me: I should mentor her! The mentoring organization was taking too long, anyway. Besides instead of taking my chances again I could just mentor someone I know. It was a perfect match - she loves doing all the things I love doing - mainly crafting. We definately get along - I've known her her whole life. And she actually looks up to me.
I decided to pick her up once a month and it was going pretty well. The week before I plan to pick her up - I make her promise not to get in trouble at school (she's a bit of a talker in class) otherwise, I won't pick her up. She usually responds to this. Another technique I have is to tell her that I will teach her something if she learns something for school. For example, I told her if she learned her multiplication tables - I would teach her to crochet. She actually learned ALL (well 1-12) of her multiplication tables by the next month! I was so proud.
Last month was really busy for me and I didn't pick her up, so I decided to do something really fun this month with her - I bought two tickets to see the Urban Nutcracker. So, like usual, I ask her if she's been getting in trouble. Unfortunately, her response is yes. I tell her about my plans and she promises to be good the following week. Well, I call her mom up on Tuesday and Sharai HAS gotten in trouble. Her mom said that she told Sharai that she wouldn't tell me about the incident if she is good for the rest of the week. I say, "Ok, tell her to call me when you get home."
Me: How have you been at school?
Me: Good? Sharai, You haven't gotten in any trouble at school?
Me: Sharai, do not lie to me. Have you gotten in ANY trouble this week?
Me: Sharai, You haven't gotten in ANY trouble at school?
This girl is straight up lying to me. I tell them the plans are off - because she lied. I cannot handle a liar. It sucks too because I already bought the tickets. Her mom said that she was crying because she doesn't get to come with me this weekend. I am kinda sad, too. But what am I supposed to do? If I take her - it's like I am saying that it is okay to lie to me.
Oh well, maybe next month.