I met LC, my latest Seedling Mentee, last year when she was a kindergarten student at a school not too far from where I live. Her kindergarten teacher was kind, sweet, and a redhead like me, and I think that may have eased my way in starting this new mentoring relationship.
Seedling Mentoring is for children who deal with the trauma of having an incarcerated parent, and although the parent may come out of prison, Seedling does not end the mentoring relationship.
You see, they know that the trauma has already occurred and that a parent’s reentry into the child’s life can often be one more change they must deal with, emotionally and academically.
When I met LC, we immediately talked about my father and I disclosed that he went to prison. Seedling requires that Mentees are aware that their Mentors know about their situation and that there is no need to hide or be ashamed.
She was not able to express much about her experience and feelings yet but she could draw them. In the beginning, she drew many pictures, even a few that were a bit disturbing, but I schooled my reactions and encouraged her to keep drawing how she felt so that those things were no longer just in her head. Continue reading