I mentor a 12 year old fifth grader here who came to this area from the Katrina disaster in New Orleans. He is an African American with no father in the household and his mother I think is not literate, but is trying to raise her three children. She has no job. I think the family was in the ghetto in New Orleans and my guy spent his first 9 years in this bad environment. He is a problem in school-not doing homework well, never bringing back anything from home he has been asked to take home and bring back-not good in reading comprehension-has been suspended for a short duration-has been threatened to be sent to alternative school-has completely stymied all school staff up to this point and is rapidly doing the same to me. He speaks unusually softly and is hard to understand most of the time, but I have spent time with him when he has acted half way excited and speaks louder. He has a pleasant smile and with me, a nice demeanor. He is not dependable at all. For instance, I asked him if he would like to go to a local university football game(40,000 people attending) and he said yes. I purchased him a nice polo shirt with the schools emblem on it and told him when I would pick him up(his family has no car or telephone). I also told his mother the time on Saturday I would pick him up. When we got there he had spent the night somewhere else, and both the boy and the mother had forgotten. We did get in the car and go get him so we went to the game. Two weeks later all of the mentors with their kids were going to a live theater play. He was supposed to take a release home and get it signed. He did not do this and although I had told him when I would be by to pick him up he was not ready. His mother answered the door and knew nothing about it. Although it was 1:30PM I think she and possibly he were still sacked out. I have been meeting one hour a week during school since last March. We get along very well but he just does not seem to have any real purpose or drive to him, yet I feel he really does if I can find the key to unlock the door. I do think his school problems would be solved if he had a good butt spanking to really get his attention, but that is out of my realm and his mother said she doesn't spank him any more because it was not working. He seems bright enough but I am beginning to have my doubts. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
No BUTT spanking at all , this will not help this child,I read your post with interest then read that at the end, how on earth do you think hitting a child would help him be more focused and concentrate, those kind of thoughts are not part of mentoring and you are correct it is not within your realm,do his parents know you feel like that.He has nothing wrong with him that some kindness and care wont help ,he needs more positive attention.
What is wrong with a good old fashioned butt spanking? I take it by your comment that highly offended your Delicate Sensibilities. you must be so narrowed minded that one sentence out of the whole post has your underwear in a ruffle and ultimately bothered you so much you are missing the BIG picture or meaning of the actual post.
How can you miss the fact that just the interest rufus1 has shown the child is probably the most if not only positive attention this child has ever received in his whole 9 years, but you feel like he needs more? Were you not paying attention when the child’s school and home issues problems were described in detail as well as the lack of parental guidance and/or attention at home, however you decided there is "nothing wrong with the boy" that kindness and care would or even could take care of. How hard and frustrating for you to have such an interest and his mother appear to have little or none.
Sometimes the saving grace is simple consistency and encouragement. If he knows you will not give up on him and that you think he can do better, he might rise to the challenge and surprise everyone.
Are you not familiar with the development and cognitive stages a child goes thru starting with the day they are born, and the cause and effect of negelect and deprivation have on a childs mental & emotional well being? Often times, children like this are not familiar with "kindness and care" and will reject if not downright fight against something as little as a hug. you obviously judge people without concerning the whole picture.
as for rufus1, i admire your efforts and dedication to a child who is not only not your own, but apparently has issues. As previous said, hopefully the interest and attention you are showing this boy will be the stable guiding light he will need to break out of the only lifestyle he has ever known. You seem to be the first that has actual shown an interest in him, the teachers already have labeled him.
Mentoring is not easy and those children that need mentoring are not "normal" children. It is a challenge, however I believe you are on the right track. i applaud your efforts and encourage you to continue what you are doing.
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