Mentoring Tips for Each Stage of the Match Relationship
Tips from BBBS staff regarding things you can do to move your match along through each stage of the relationship:
Early Development Stage – This stage is largely about getting to know one another, establishing routines, and building trust.
- Without prying, learn facts about your Little and reference them in your conversations, eg: favorite things, best friend, where they’ve traveled.
- Be consistent and flexible. Do what you say you are going to do.
- Be patient and remember that relationships have ups and downs, they don’t just happen by themselves.
Growth Stage – During this stage of the relationship, Littles may try to test Bigs to find out where the boundaries in their relationship are and to determine if their Bigs are going to leave. Bigs may desire some input from Littles.
- Show your Little that he/she can trust you through your reliability, consistency and time together. As trust develops, your Little will probably begin sharing bits of information with you.
- Keep in close contact with your Match Support Specialist for ideas.
- Recognize and praise accomplishments.
- If you need to give advice or address behavior problems, give reasons and avoid “shoulds.”
Maturity Stage – By this stage, Bigs and Littles have typically developed a comfortable and familiar relationship with one another.
- Develop long-term shared interests and activities that you do frequently together and that you both enjoy.
- Identify and celebrate past shared experiences and enjoy shared jokes.
- Learn something that is new to both of you, together.