When taking a pup/Handler under your wing in any capacity, in certain ways you take responsibility for their personal growth. That in itself is a powerful thing.
The way you go about this journey with your mentoree can vary since everyone’s style and needs aren’t the same. What happens if one of those paths leads to a strong emotional attachment to that pup/Handler? One must understand that this is very plausible, especially when you are getting to learn about the pup/Handler you are mentoring on a much deeper level.
Whilst there is nothing wrong at all with the continual mentoring or beginning a new mentorship with a pup/Handler strongly based on emotional desire or connection, one must keep in mind a couple things. Firstly, you should take a moment to take a step back and see where these emotions are stemming from on your end. Secondly, you want to make sure that your intentions are clear and conducive to the mentoree’s personal growth. Some examples to consider or maybe even look out for that can come from mentoring on an emotional level that may not yield a positive experience for your mentoree:
1. To solely fill a void without caring for the other person and their needs.
2. A personal desire to have control or authority over someone to foster negative desires or act out.
3. To gain acceptance from others.
4. Falling for someone, then seconds later attempting to snatch them up and claim them as yours without taking the time to better understand their needs and personal situation.
Mentoring from an emotional basis never has to be, at any point or any way, a not-so-positive experience. In fact, a lot of great mentorships have spawned from strong emotional connections. Some examples of the rewards of mentoring on an emotional level include:
1. Emotional and mental growth and maturity for you and your mentoree (growing together on those levels and understanding oneself better).
2. Creating a stronger emotional core.
3. Emotions that can transform into a blossoming relationship and self-discovery (something more).
4. Passing on a positive, emotional foundation of mentorship, which can be bestowed by your mentoree onto another.
Remember, emotions are a beautiful thing when taken the time to understand them and utilized in the best light. They can bring about great change and continual growth for you and your mentoree. As in the words of B. Franklin, “Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.”
Written by PAHS Without Borders on Facebook