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Mentoring and Coaching vs Grooming — 9 Comments

  1. William, The pacific union conference has a program that is necessary for all church members that have elected offices involving contact with children on a regular basis,to have backgrounds checked and a program called "shield the vulnerable" in place, that is required for insurance purposes. So you see William all good intentions do not always produce the results hoped for. Our world has taken many twists and turns, many leaving a bad taste in our mouths and minds. A pitiful sad state of affairs.

    Amen!(6)
    • Paul thank you for your comment. We also have Shield the Vulnerable here in Florida as well. It is a very effective balanced program. The sad thing is, many good people never get far enough to take the program, because they are afraid of their motives being misconstrued. Hence, my post encouraging good people to mentor. The horror stories make the news even in church circles, while the success stories, which are more abundant don't because they are not really news. That is what is sad.

      Amen!(7)
      • William, I think as someone else said all situations may not be the same. There is possibly a need for mentoring, and one size does not fit all. I have a friend, a member of a SS that was a public school teacher that taught 3rd or 4th grade as I remember. The mother of one student had become good friends of the teacher. The student was accused of inappropriate behavior because the class was having recess and would not go out with the rest of the children. The teacher had given the family special attention that was being taking advantage of because the teacher cared for all the children and tried to make their education useful. The bottom line is, the bad news with district attorneys and lawyers and judges, Because of trying to be a mentor to help, can leave scars that will never heal. Unmerited or not. I am still a good friend of this member and being very familiar with the case would suggest, do not put ones self in possible harms way to be taken advantage of.

        Amen!(2)
  2. Many thanks William. This is enlightening. Young people need to be taught the distinction, especially in our churches where we tend to trust that everyone - especially the leaders - operate from good intentions and motives.

    Amen!(3)
    • Marcia thank you for your comment and kind words. What you say is very true. At the same time the purpose of my post is to help the parents and other observant mentors see the distinction. Yes, some are too trusting, while others are too critical of church leaders, and because of the critical skeptics in the church many good people are afraid to lead and mentor. God bless our leaders and mentors who faithfully carry out their roles, being great blessings to children and their families!

      Amen!(8)
  3. I think there is another perspective, one that may be at least as important. Let me preface it by one person's interpretation of Pr. 22:6 "Train a child in the way that he should go . . ." Their emphasis was the way that HE should go, not the way that I should go or the way I want him to go or the way I think he should go.

    A mentoring looks out for the best interest of a child. Grooming is using the child for selfish purposes. Parents can do that, too. I knew a Mom who insisted on home schooling her children, even though she was not very good at it and they were falling behind grade level. She needed to feel important. She needed the emotional support from them. It wasn't about what was best for them, it was about what felt good to her.

    Mentoring doesn't create a carbon copy of me. It recognizes that what works for me might not work for someone else. It recognizes that a child will live in a different world than I lived in. Who would teach a child today to use a typewriter? Just because I learned on one?

    Amen!(9)
  4. Wilton Helm, I like all of these comments, but I especially like the one about "training children in the way they should go". Of course this is the plural instead of the singular. Thank you for your post!

    Amen!(1)

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