Steamship of Resentment
"You're not my father!" It's a phrase that I've heard screamed in defiance countless times. Young men filled with resentment rebel against any fatherly figure who fills a role of authority. Anger at the absence of a father figure is embedded in the hearts of fatherless sons. Their subconscious is filled with volcanic like indignation that fuels quick-tempered outrage. Identifying the root of anger will help you teach your Mentee how to use anger as a building foundation instead of a self destructive force.
AID to MENTOR NAVIGATION Part 33
We had to close the door to keep the young boy from running out of the Principal's office. He was out of control; punching, kicking, screaming and crying. I was in the building for a Relationship Mentoring Class and just happened to be in the Main Office when the boy was brought in.
Talking to him seemed to have no effect at calming him down. Then we asked him if he wanted to draw and gave him some paper and markers. We were just biding our time until a parent or guardian could come and take him home. He began to draw pictures of people and a house. As he drew the pictures, he began to relax. We asked him about his artwork and he opened up a little. He said that sometimes he went to his Dad's house. He said sometimes they would argue and then he had to go home. The boy was angry about a family situation.
All situations require individual and unique responses. There is no "one size fits all" answer. Do not rely solely on your own experience to solve a problem dealing with anger. The anger issue that you may have lived through may be similar but each person is unique. Be a patient and empathetic listener. Ask questions about what, where, why, when and how regarding the anger. If someone does not want to talk: DO NOT FORCE THEM! Be a friend and build trust by being caring and non-judgmental.
AID to MENTOR NAVIGATION Part 34
This next section may scare some of you. Depending on where and who you Mentor, dangerous situations can arise. Some teenagers will try and bait you into a physical altercation. You may be much stronger than a young boy - YOU DON'T HAVE TO PROVE IT. Only use physical force as a last resort. If an attack occurs, defend yourself as best as you can.
I have Mentored in the inner city for over 10 years. I have had attempts on my life and damage to my personal property at my home. I have called the Police on numerous occasions. I have had to break up fights between both girls and guys. Drugs and alcohol play a huge part in violent behaviors. There are ways to protect yourself as you Mentor in potentially dangerous situations. Some are no-brainers but you need to burn them into your brain.
· Whenever possible, make sure that there are 2 or more adults around you. · Always have a cell phone within reach. · Stay away from enclosed areas hidden from public view. · Maintain male to male and female to female relationships. · If you have any questions about someone who has a violent history, ASK THEM! · Do not hesitate to call the Police. · If you do say you will call the Police - THEN DO IT! · Be alert for signs of weapons. · Learn the cultural language that identifies threatening behavior. · Use your intuition to guide you and be on high alert. · Be careful when inviting the friends of the person you are Mentoring to be a part of your activities.
Mentoring can be dangerous in certain neighborhoods and with certain individuals. You most likely will never have to face the dangers listed above but the Boy Scout Motto is: "Be Prepared!" There are storms in life and preparation will keep you safe.