Written By: Robyn Mills
What I want to talk to you about in today’s blog, is the power of having a special person in your life who believes in you and your work, your ideas and your possibilities. Who tells you the truth when you are drifting off track. Who allows you to make mistakes but also asks you to see them for what they are and change them into a learning experience and a positive in life.
A true mentor holds your vision for you, long before you can even see it yourself. I have been lucky enough to have several mentors in recent years. Right now my forever BFF is Rosina. A wise woman with insights into me that I can’t see myself. She is not afraid to tell me the truth or to hear the truth. This is an important trait that not everyone is capable of. It is imperative that I explain to you the distinction between an amazing mentor and a person who tells you what you want to hear. For example, if you make a mistake a friend might say to you “that’s not your fault…the other person should have known better”. That might make you feel better about yourself for a short while, but the lesson that comes from the mistake gets lost in translation and the whole things becomes clouded. A trusted mentor on the other hand might ask you to reflect from the beginning and see when the trouble began.
Let me give you an example: I was having fun with a creative task with my grandchildren and had to leave the room to grab a sharper pair of scissors. We were making rainbow pom poms. I walked back into the room to a 6 year old (Scott) protesting that his brother had slapped him across the face. My first instinct was to take the craft away and get angry at Harry, the second grandchild. Luckily I have worked with Rosina (WinWin Parenting) long enough that she was whispering in my ear (metaphorically) and after a breath, I gently asked them to sit up at the kitchen bench and to take me back to the beginning of what happened between them.
Let me paint the scene for you. Previously, Scott had asked me to teach him how to make pom poms and I had purchased wool and a plastic pom pom maker, that I hadn’t used before. Much further advanced than the cardboard ones we used to make. Still I made a mistake and the pom pom fell apart, leaving me to yet again, read the instructions and change to a stronger wool.
While I was out of the room, Harry reminded Scott that he was having a turn next. Scott apparently said “No your not, I’m make lots” and against Harry’s protests got angrier and called him names. Harry reacted with his hands, slapping Scott across the face. They both agreed that this is exactly the way it had played out.
I asked them to see where the first mistake happened. Yep…Scott not wanting to share the pom pom maker. Great moment! I got to ask them how could that have been different. Oh so many ways! I didn’t give them the answers, they worked it out for themselves. Firstly, trying to hold onto something that was a shared experience to prevent your brother having a turn. Secondly, saying things that are not nice to your brother. At the end of this part we got to talk about sharing and family and the joy of watching someone else achieve their goal of making a pom pom. Now to Harry…what could you have done differently? Well, not use my hands in anger to get what I want! Brilliant. Could you please look at each other now and apologise from your heart? Yes!
Did I put the pom pom machine away? No…I apologised for my mistake in not reading the instructions properly and choosing wool that broke easily. I role modelled that it is Ok to make mistakes and lets work on it together to see where it went wrong. We also asked Grandpa, because he is great at reading instructions.
I was able to mentor my grandchildren because Rosina, mentors me. Rosina teaches parents to mentor their children and she can do this because she is an amazing parent mentor and colleague mentor. A friend with benefits (LOL). She allows me the space to make mistakes and helps me nut them out and see if there is a better way. She holds me in high esteem as I do her and that is a powerful combination.
Your takeaways from this blog is to see if you have a friend, mentor, teacher, inspirational leader, who helps you grow and develop and nurtures you along the way. Who ‘gets you’, who walks your talk, who holds you to account in loving ways. A mentor who can see where you are now and assists you to become who you are going to be. This is priceless. Find the person or persons who can be this gift for you and be willing to be vulnerable and open with them.
The most important thing is not to be afraid of making mistakes, of telling and hearing the truth. In vulnerability comes great strength.
Harry said to me “Your a GREAT Grammie”, I laughed and said “Let’s call me GG for short”.
Other Blogs Written by Robyn Mills
2) Who You are Really Matters
3) Grandparenting: The gift the circle of life brings back to you.
4) What Does it Mean to Love?
5) Inspirational Mentor
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