But what about girls? Our heart breaks at the way girls are often treated these days. Sadly, young women may not realize they are worthy of first-rate treatment. Don’t young girls need healthy male role models, too?
Single mothers often worry about how to find a father figure for their sons. If you read my stuff, you know I constantly pass along the great ideas I get from my reading and listening friends. For instance, I just wrote to dispel some of the myth around mentoring in Man Guide to Proverb 31. Anybody can mentor, according to my friend Tony Johnson, especially with a little foresight.
Tony wrote the book, Me & My Boys, My Experience with Mentoring, to encourage others to take the plunge. Since he’s a gifted story-teller, the book is a quick read. Every page has drama. But still, as I read Tony’s book about the success of mentoring young men, I had my question: What about girls? Girls need father figures, too.
We all know even the most trustworthy man puts his reputation in jeopardy when he tries to help a young lady. Are there any solutions? Fortunately for us, Tony touched on this very issue with insight and practical experience in a recent episode of Fireside Talk Radio. Impacting young men to treat young ladies respectfully is high on Tony’s list of outcomes.
Because mentoring appointments often happen at lunch in the school cafeteria, Tony makes a point of frequently teaming up with a female mentor and her young lady mentee.
“You create a family atmosphere. Both kids are being helped.”
While together in a “family” setting, Tony finds ways to encourage the young lady by asking the kind of questions a father would typically ask, based on any input they may have from her mother.
Tony also shared details about how to phrase corrections without embarrassing young people. “That’s not appropriate,” he finds himself saying when young people need direction. “You apologize to her” is another way to hold young men accountable to treat young ladies respectfully. He says young people translate accountability as love because they recognize that families who love their children set boundaries.
He says progress for many kids is astounding.
“My grandmother used to fix fried pies,” he chuckles, adding sometimes the pies burned or looked funny, but it didn’t matter to him. “I couldn’t care less what they looked like because I knew the best part was inside. The best part of these kids is beneath the crust.”
If you want to change the life of a child by mentoring, you can contact the local school district or Tony’s sister, Darlene Marshall. Darlene is with The Mentoring Alliance. You’ll love what Mentoring Alliance is doing in our county to help kids.
Or, start by reading Tony’s book.
Cathy Primer Krafve, aka Checklist Charlie, lives and writes with a Texas twang. Comments are invited at email@example.com.