Wednesday’s Parent: 5 Qualities a Mentor Should NOT Possess


mentorWhen I was in middle school I had a teacher who took a special interest in me. She encouraged me to work hard and spent extra time with me after class to explain the day’s work. Miss Castillo will always be a mentor who influenced my academic life. Because of her encouragement I graduated in the top 10 percent of my graduating class of 900. Because of her I gained self-esteem. She encouraged me, challenged me and supported me during my middle school years.

I’m sure you all have someone who influenced you in school. But mentors aren’t always in the academic realm. They can be coaches, pastors, business leaders and family friends. Mentors take the time to invest in your life and make an impact on your personal life and your future.

There are so many suggestions on how to look for and choose a mentor. But in true Parent College Coach fashion, here are 5 qualities I believe a mentor should NOT possess:


The last thing you need in a mentor is someone who is constantly criticizing you. There may be something to be said about constructive criticism, but listening to someone constantly criticize and belittle you is not inspiring. It only destroys your self-esteem.


Nobody likes being around a negative person, especially if it’s someone you are looking to for advice and encouragement. A person who always sees the glass as half empty is not going to inspire you to achieve your goals.


You don’t need someone who is patronizing. A mentor should never act superior or talk down to you in any way.


You need someone who is invested in teaching you, training you and guiding you in your life pursuits. If the person you choose is disinterested and uninvolved it’s a waste of your time.


The idea of having a mentor is to teach you, not control your every decision. A controlling person is less likely to help you find your own path—he will want you to follow his.

Choosing a mentor requires thought and careful searching. As in my case, mentors can have a profound effect on your life. Choose wisely.

Read Wendy’s post: Choose a Mentor in 3 Steps


Wednesday’s child may be full of woe but Wednesday’s Parent can substitute action for anxiety. Each Wednesday Wendy and I will provide parent tips to get and keep your student on the college track. It’s never too late or too early to start!

The bonus is on the fourth Wednesday of each month when Wendy and I will host Twitter chat #CampusChat at 9pm ET/6pm PT. We will feature an expert on a topic of interest for parents of the college-bound.

Wednesday’s Parent will give twice the info and double the blog posts on critical parenting issues by clicking on the link at the end of the article from parentscountdowntocollegecoach to and vice versa.

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