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Focus Africa Parent Mentors


Here are 4 simple steps to becoming a Focus on the Family (Africa) Parent Mentor:

1. Invest some time
Take some time and go through our basic Parent Mentor online learning modules. It is a helpful introduction to Parent Mentoring and it will start you off on the right footing. The sessions are short and packed with very insightful teaching.

2. Identify a couple or group
During your training to become mentors, think of a less-experienced couple you know, maybe from your church or neighborhood. Pray that God would guide you in this process. Look for a couple with whom you already share a connection, or sense you could develop one.

3. Seek the support of your pastor and local church
We believe that mentoring should come under the direction and support of your pastor/elders and local church. If your church doesn’t have a mentoring ministry, approach the leadership of your church to talk through next steps in starting a mentoring ministry. Here at Focus we have people who can help your pastor or elders put a mentoring structure in place.

4. Subscribe to our monthly mentoring mailer
Each month we distribute (digitally) helpful broadcasts, guides, relevant articles and resources to help you grow as a mentor and to use in your mentoring of other couples.

So go ahead, take the plunge — become a Focus Parent Mentor, and see how God will use you to help another couple thrive!

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section fullwidth=”on” specialty=”off” transparent_background=”off” background_color=”#82c43d” inner_shadow=”off” parallax=”off” parallax_method=”off”][et_pb_fullwidth_header admin_label=”Fullwidth Header” title=”Invest some time” subhead=”Here are our Parent Mentor online learning modules. Take some time to go through each module.” background_layout=”dark” text_orientation=”left” /][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section fullwidth=”off” specialty=”off”][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_toggle admin_label=”Toggle” title=”What are the most essential skills necessary to be an effective parent mentor? ” open=”off”]
  • Building rapport — Relationship and connection are essential building blocks to successful parent mentoring.
  • Walking in another couple’s shoes — The ability to view things from their perspective enables you to see them and their struggles through eyes of patience, grace and compassion.
  • Working as a team — Understand and highlight your spouse’s unique strengths, empower one another’s voices, and embrace your differences as a mentor couple.
  • Agreeing on outcomes — At the outset identify with your mentorees what you want to accomplish through this relationship. To arrive at your destination you must first chart a course.
  • Asking meaningful questions — Not only does this show genuine interest on your part, but the right questions can reveal helpful insights about the mentorees to their spouse, to you as their mentors, and even sometimes to the one giving the answer.
  • Listening aggressively — Trying to gather the meaning and emotion behind the words will greatly increase your understanding of the other couple’s parenting struggles.
  • Fielding any question they throw at you — Here is a failsafe, one-size-fits-all magic answer: “I’m not sure. That’s a good question. Let me get back to you on that.” Then discuss it with your spouse, pray about it, check reputable sites on the Internet or talk to a friend, counselor, pastor or another parent mentor. Pick up the discussion at your next meeting.
  • Telling your stories — Honest personal stories can make a lasting impression. Just remember, though, your story is not really about you, it’s about your mentorees.
  • Praying together — Model the importance of this activity in parenting by praying together with and for your mentorees.
  • Staying sharp and refreshed —Think of the flight attendant telling you to put on your oxygen mask first: You can’t really help another couple if you’re not tending to your own personal, spiritual and marital health.
  • Being yourself and going with the flow —Let them see the real you. Also, be willing to adapt to the needs, learning styles and interests of your mentorees.
[/et_pb_toggle][et_pb_toggle admin_label=”Toggle” title=”What are the most common mistakes parent mentors make?” open=”off”]Mistakes are inevitable in almost any human endeavor, so don’t be fearful of making an occasional one as a marriage mentor. Still, here are a few of the more common pitfalls you’ll want to try to avoid:

• trying to solve problems prematurely (listen closely and attempt to understand underlying issues first)
• failure to set clear expectations and limits (don’t assume, discuss)
• fear of silence (sometimes mentorees need time to process and reflect)
• interrogation (make questions inviting, not threatening)
• impatience (expecting too much progress too soon)
• moralizing (don’t sacrifice your convictions, but seek to understand and offer unconditional love).[/et_pb_toggle][et_pb_toggle admin_label=”Toggle” title=”What if our mentoree couple are dealing with some serious issues?” open=”off”]Some couples experience challenges that require professional help. If that’s the case with a couple you’re mentoring, don’t try to “fix” things on your own. Instead, offer to help them locate competent professional assistance. There are any number of warning signs that may point to this need. For instance, if one or both is exhibiting any of the following:

• acting painfully silent for long periods and withdrawing socially
• quitting a job for no rational reason or making other sudden unexplainable decisions
• an obsession with exercise and diet that may indicate an eating disorder
• excessive fear of a family member, relative or friend
• long periods of feeling worthless, helpless, guilty or lethargic, or showing other signs of depression
• significant anger issues
• suicidal thoughts or a fixation with death
• periods of intense anxiety or panic attacks

As a first step, we invite you to call one of our counselors +27 31 7163300. We’ll be happy to provide assistance and suggest a qualified Christian counselor in your area that you could recommend to your mentorees.[/et_pb_toggle][et_pb_toggle admin_label=”Toggle” title=”What if we make a mistake?” open=”off”]Give yourself some grace, learn from it, and move on. We can’t say it enough: no marriage mentor is perfect. Part of a successful mentoring relationship is being “real” with the other couple. If you need to backtrack, admit your mistake, and even seek forgiveness, do so.

It will likely only enhance your credibility in their eyes. And, unless something has happened within your own marriage that needs to be addressed and healed, don’t let this take you away from the opportunity to invest in another couple. If you are continuing to seek to grow in your marriage (remember, health and growth are the goals, not perfection), you are still plenty “qualified” to work with your couple.[/et_pb_toggle][et_pb_toggle admin_label=”Toggle” title=”How often should we meet?” open=”off”]The important thing is to get together on a regular basis — at least once a month — in order to develop consistency, trust, and rapport. Agree up front on the number of meetings or how long you will meet. Many mentoring matches initially commit to somewhere between 6-12 meetings. Of course you can continue to meet beyond that if both couples desire, but having an end date in mind is usually a good idea.[/et_pb_toggle][et_pb_toggle admin_label=”Toggle” title=”Where should we meet?” open=”off”]Opening up your own home is often a great way to get the relationship off on the right foot. Or, it may work better to meet in the home of your mentorees. Some couples get together in a quiet corner or private area of a restaurant or coffee shop. Still others may meet in a comfortable place in their church. Find a place that works best for you and one that is free of distractions (including cell phones).[/et_pb_toggle][et_pb_toggle admin_label=”Toggle” title=”I've heard about three different forms of parent mentoring: preparing, maximizing and restoring. How will we know which one we are best equipped for?” open=”off”]To answer, we’d need to ask you a few questions. Where does your passion lie? What has your parenting experience been like? Have you gone through difficult times with your kids? Do friends seek your counsel when they’re in crisis? You may well be suited to help parents in distress. Maybe you find yourself feeling energized and revitalized being around new parents.

That can be an important cue. Or perhaps you both have a desire to help parents move “from good to great.” And if you’re not sure, talk to people who know you well — your pastor, close friends, or maybe even your adult children — and get their insights. No matter which you choose, know that your investment in any of these three forms can pay huge dividends in the lives of another parents.[/et_pb_toggle][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text” background_layout=”light” text_orientation=”left”]

Mentoring 101

[intense_spacer height=”30″][intense_button color=”#257d93″ link=”http://parent.focusafrica.co.za/?page_id=1026″ size=”medium” target=”_blank” title=”Qualities of a Mentor”]Qualities of a Mentor[/intense_button]    [intense_button color=”#257d93″ link=”http://parent.focusafrica.co.za/?page_id=1024″ size=”medium” target=”_blank” title=”5 Misconceptions of a Mentor”]5 Misconceptions of a Mentor[/intense_button][/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text” background_layout=”light” text_orientation=”left”]

Well done on completing the on-line training modules

Now we recommend speaking to the Pastor or Elders of your church in setting up a Mentoring Ministry. If your church leaders would like to chat to us to find out a bit more about mentoring and how to set this up in a local church, please feel free to ask them to contact us on (031) 716-3300.

In the interim, you and your leaders are most welcome to sign up to receive our monthly parent mentor emailer (see below).

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section fullwidth=”on” specialty=”off” transparent_background=”off” background_color=”#82c43d” inner_shadow=”off” parallax=”off” parallax_method=”off”][et_pb_fullwidth_header admin_label=”Fullwidth Header” title=”Subscribe to our Monthly Mailer” subhead=”Each month you will receive audio broadcasts, articles and other great resources to help you in the mentoring process you are about to undertake.” background_layout=”dark” text_orientation=”left” /][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section fullwidth=”off” specialty=”off”][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_signup admin_label=”Subscribe” provider=”mailchimp” mailchimp_list=”c0f5367cee” aweber_list=”none” title=”Emailer Signup” button_text=”Sign Up” use_background_color=”off” background_color=”#2EA3F2″ background_layout=”light” text_orientation=”left”]

By signing up to the Focus on the Family Africa Monthly Parent Mentor emailer, you will receive resource reviews, helpful articles and Focus broadcasts each month in your in-box.

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Tablet and Smartphone friendly

These mailers are tablet and smartphone friendly, meaning that the content is responsive to the size of the device it is being viewed on.