The primary objectives are for you and your mentee to get to know one another and begin establishing a sense of trust and connection. Because you are just learning things about each other and a low level of trust is likely, you may experience feelings of discomfort with one another in this early stage. If your mentee is shy, it may take weeks or even months before she is comfortable talking much with you. Two things are particularly important at this stage.

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Explain limits of confidentiality.

Once your mentee begins to open up a little, you can talk about the special nature of your relationship and convey that you will not be telling your mentee’s parents or teachers about your conversations except in certain circumstances. If your mentee is old enough to understand this point, explain the few circumstances in which you would have to break confidentiality, specifically if your mentee or someone else were in danger of being seriously hurt

Don’t get frustrated.

Mentees in this stage may be less reliable and may forget to show up or call you. The reason for this may be as simple as just forgetting a new routine in their lives, or it may be that they are testing you to see whether you are really committed to the relationship. Young people who have had prior disappointments with adults may take longer to begin to trust and may engage in more testing behavior.

Be trustworthy.

It is very important at this stage for you to be reliable, predictable, and consistent in showing up for meetings and to involve your mentee in deciding how you will spend your time together.