A Fresh Start: Tips for Reconnecting with Your Mentee Post-COVID

None of us could have predicted what would happen over the past year. Fortunately, we are in the process of returning to a new sense of normalcy, and with that comes the opportunity to re-commit to your role as a Big. As you are planning for your "new normal," make sure to carve out space and time for your Little. It is never too late for a fresh start!

TIPS FOR RECONNECTING WITH YOUR LITTLE

Here are some things to think about while reconnecting with your Little:

  • What is the first move? You can send a brief text to your Little and their parents explaining that you have been thinking of them and would like to chat or meet soon. Make sure to check their comfort level for in-person meetings. If you need more ideas or encouragement with making the first move, please reach out to your Match Support Specialist!
  • It is okay to start from scratch. You have likely changed some over the last year. Your Little is older now and will have new interests, faced new challenges, and might be different than you remember. It might be helpful to think of this as a new match and approach it the same way you did when you and your Little were first getting to know one another.
  • Focus on effort, not outcome. There may have been times during the pandemic when you tried to reach out to your Little and received no response. Nobody likes being ghosted, and it can make you feel like it is not worth it to keep trying. Challenge yourself to continue trying to reach out every week or two, even if there is limited or no response. Your efforts show your Little that you still care and that you are there if they need you.
  • Celebrate the small wins! You may send your Little a thoughtful and substantial message only to have them respond with a one-word answer. It would be easy to get discouraged with this, but if you reframe it, you can see it for the win that it is. Even a small response means that you have connected with your Little and that they know that you are interested and engaged in their life!

DO YOUR BEST AND HAVE PATIENCE

When you became a Big with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Middle Tennessee, you made a commitment. That commitment was to empower a young person’s potential in our community and spend time with them weekly for at least one year. It’s understandable that you may feel disappointed about the lost time and lack of connection with your mentee throughout the pandemic, but if you continue to give the relationship your best efforts, overtime you are bound to see the fruits of your labor.

WE ARE HERE FOR YOU

Everyone at BBBSMT wants you and your match to succeed. We are always here to assist you as you navigate the road to reconnection. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your match support specialist for reconnection ideas that are specific to your mentee’s interests and goals. And never forget, even if it doesn’t always feel like it, you are doing important work to defend the precious potential of a young person.  

At Big Brothers Big Sisters of Middle Tennessee, we ensure every volunteer mentor matched in our program feels equipped and empowered to face challenges by offering professional match support. If you’re interested in becoming a Big, you can fill out our volunteer inquiry form to get started or click here to learn more about our mentoring programs.

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