Youth spend a significant amount of time with mentors
Most mentoring programs require matches to spend a lot of time together. This article discusses the average amount of time spent between adult mentors and youth.
Research tells us that mentoring matches are more successful when they last for at least one year in a community-based program and nine months in a school-based program. Mentoring programs vary with matches required to meet anywhere from twice a week to twice a month. According to Michigan State University Extension, time spent together usually ranges from one to four hours per week. If matches adhere to successful guidelines then they will spend a lot of time together.
Adult mentors and youth mentees are encouraged to share current, and explore new, hobbies and interests. This task alone may require a significant amount of time. After the match knows one another they can decide the activities to focus on, requiring additional time together. As matches identify common interest areas or activities to focus on, they also have to account for those that require practice time to master. In this exploratory time, mentoring matches are not only gaining a new hobby or interest, but developing a long-term relationship which doesn’t happen overnight.
Invested time is required to establish a quality mentoring relationship. Mentors and mentees must take the mentoring relationship very serious and identify time to devote to it. If you do not have the time to set aside to foster a relationship then the mentoring match may not be successful.
Many times individuals need to take a look at their life and commitments to determine if it is a good time to begin a mentoring relationship that takes a lot of time. If mentors have a lot of personal and family obligations then it may not be a good idea to pursue a mentoring match unless you are great at time management. The same goes for youth; if they have a large amount of extracurricular activities and family commitments then it may be a good idea to reconsider beginning a mentoring match until you can identify time for mentoring activities.
It takes time to establish and sustain a mentoring relationship. Both youth and adults should make sure that they have the time before entering into a mentoring relationship.