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The Chessed of a Mentoring Relationship

Shoshi Friedman, Kav L’Noar Mentor

A Story is told about a boy who comes to his father and asks him: “Daddy, how much do you make an hour?” The father, busy with his smartphone, eventually answers: “If you must know, I make $100 an hour.” The boy responds: “Daddy, can I borrow $16?” The father, after a long and exhausting day at the office, abruptly sends his son to his room. An hour later, he realizes that he may have been too harsh, goes to his son’s room and says: “I’m sorry if I snapped at you before. Here are the $16. What’s it for?” The boy takes $84 from his piggy bank, adds the $16 and then hands the money to his father and says: “Here Daddy. Can I now spend an hour with you?”

The beauty of this story is that it goes straight past the talk and directly to the heart. While we know how much our children need our time and attention, we so easily forget and are distracted by everything around us. We need reminders. In a parenting class that I once attended, the instructor encouraged us to give each of our children 10 minutes of individual attention each day. While at first I thought that’s so easy and no big deal, I soon realized how busy we get and how difficult it is to give each child that kind of personal attention.

Today’s biggest distraction is our phone. We so easily get caught up in responding to peoples’ messages, that we ignore those of our little gems right in front of us. It takes a lot of self-control to not get overly involved in the virtual world of social media, applications and texting. If at all possible, we should put away our phones when spending time with our children so that we don’t absorbed to the extent that we can’t easily separate from our conversations.

A mentoring relationship can serve as a wonderful tool for creating feelings of worthiness and importance in a child. When a child feels that they are worthy of someone’s time, they are made to feel that they matter. While the child doesn’t really think about this process, they eventually feel it intuitively because it gets acted out in the mentoring relationship. In the same way that a handpicked present that is beautifully wrapped with a card can be so meaningful, likewise when we give time to someone, it can serve as the greatest gift. Kav L’Noar’s Mentoring Program has, for the past 12 years, seen amazing outcomes through its mentoring relationships that have truly served as a vehicle of chessed time and time again.

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