My mentee was being totally obnoxious. He was rude, impertinent, and out of control. I had HAD it. I decided the next week I would tell him I was done with him.
When we next met, I told him we were going to the principal's office. The principal talked to him and told him I was thinking about not mentoring him anymore. She told him he had really hurt me by his behavior. He was quiet for a minute.
Then he turned around and said, "I'm sorry. I won't ever do it again. Just don't leave me."
I told him, "You have got to change some of your attitude. I can't do it for you. You have to do it yourself."
Since then I've had a different kid. We laugh and talk the whole time. I said to him, "See, isn't it nicer being this way?" "Yes," he replied. "I can talk to anyone now! It's good to be able to sit and talk with you though."
"I will be your friend for life," I told him. "Not just your mentor."
It is my hope that these kids can change and have a better life.
When we heard this story it reminded us again that kids need and want boundaries. Boundaries help teach kids the social cues necessary to empathize and interact with others. They learn that other people have feelings too. They learn to respect. Eventually they see that 'no" is not always or even often a bad thing. It's a word that will keep them safe through life if they learn to use and listen to it appropriately.
As you give your time to these children, remember that setting boundaries is a blessing for all and will help them learn to set them for themselves as they travel through life.