- I am Attentive - I watch and listen carefully.
- I am Content - I have my 'WANTER' under control.
- I am Forgiving - I choose to love when others hurt me.
- I am Gentle - I speak quietly and touch softly.
- I am Helpful - I find things that need to be done and I do them.
- I am Honest - I think the truth, I speak the truth, and I live the truth.
- I am Obedient - I am prompt, willing, cheerful and complete.
- I am Perseverant - I can do it even when it's tough.
- I am Respectful - I use words and actions that honor others and myself.
The Mentor Handbook provides encouragement and instruction on how to use the journal and how the mentor should interact with the student. Much of the instruction is specific to mentors - in other words, not parents! At each "meeting", the student is invited to go to the Dream Journal section of their book and write down a goal or hope that they have, big or small, and reflect a little on what obstacles they will need to overcome and which of the virtues they've discussed will help them achieve that dream. Then they will go back to the chapter specific to the virtue for that session and examine how well they understand what the virtue is, how well they live it out, and how they can improve. The Journal guides them to look at the people they know that exemplify each virtue and how they are affected by it. There are some inspiring quotes, a place for the mentor to write down their advice to the student, space for the student to journal their own thoughts about the virtue, and a place for them to commit to making the changes.
The downloadable Character Assessment is for the student and mentor to fill out together, evaluating how well the student does in each of the virtues. It's suggested to fill it out before starting the program, and then do it again - using a different color pen - at the end, as a measure of how they've improved.
A list of appropriate Bible verses and Bible Heroes and stories is provided separately as a Scriptural basis for the virtues. The Scripture is not part of the Journal itself because it was designed to used in a secular youth court system. Some of the inspiring quotes within the Journal are from Scripture, but they are attributed to their writer (for example, St. Paul) rather than the chapter and verse reference.
- I loved that it spelled out specifics of what it means to be Gentle, Respectful, or Obedient. These concepts are often vague even for adults, so to ask ourselves some hard questions about whether we are careless, or mocking, or quick to argue can be very instructive. And humbling.
- Those specifics make it easier to know what exactly to work on. To develop the virtue of being Helpful, we had to remember to take initiative and do what needed to be done, and to not roll our eyes or grouch about it even if we were doing it.
- I felt that the Journal stressed the positives - the things we should DO, and building on success - rather than negatives - the DON'Ts and the failures.
- We didn't like that the Dream Journal section was at the back of the Journal instead of at the beginning of each chapter. It made for a lot of extra flipping around and confusion.
- I think that this resource would be best used as it was originally intended - for a youth leader or caring adult other than the parent to encourage youth to develop these virtues. I felt sometimes that I was too tempted to use what Kennady was working on as an opportunity to nag her about her attitude, rather than being able to notice a pleasant improvement because someone else she respected was encouraging her in that area.
- Although the suggested age range is 12-18, I think it's more suited to the younger teens, perhaps 11-14. My 15yo son thought it looked a bit "young" for him.
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