Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe
On-line version ISSN 2224-7912
Historically, mentorship was a role men fulfilled with regard to younger boys and existed even before the word mentoring was ever used. However, in South Africa this role has faded and is no longer necessarily fulfilled purposely by men, particularly if seen from a psychosocial perspective. Adult men as natural mentors for adolescent boys are not always equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to enter into such a role. The role as mentor in this specific situation demands a considerable amount of time and attention from the adult male and, in addition, it requires an understanding of the perceptions of the adolescent. Although biological fathers are their sons'first natural mentors, they seem not always to be quite that much involved in their children's lives. Some adolescent boys have the benefit of an external mentor - someone outside the family system. Although the majority of the biological fathers want a mentor for their adolescent boys, only a handful of them are willing to allow someone else to fulfil this role. Many of these biological fathers are also willing to mentor someone else, but only a few actually do it. This mentor relationship exposes the mentee to a broader social network for higher quality of life standards. The age and generation of the mentor influences the style of the mentor relationship. It is necessary, though, to understand the mentors and the mentees within their generation and the characteristics known to their age. According to the literature, one of the characteristics of the X-er mentors is that they are more stable in their family system with less separation and divorces. The family structure of the mentor also has a known influence both on him and the mentor relationship. This mentoring with an adolescent boy is not of a corporate nature, but has a psychosocial origin. The personality of the mentor plays a huge role in this kind of mentoring relationship. Certain characteristics of the mentor are touching to the mentees and need to be enhanced. The involvement of the mentor and the mentee in social activities is important to both of them. The mentor's general way of living serves as an example to the mentee. Hence the mentor should, for example, avoid using substances and coming into confl ict with the law. The spiritual dimension, or the need for transcendence, as referred to in Maslow's hierarchy, is a very important element for the mentor in the mentoring relationship. This article focuses on the profi le of the adult male who mentors an adolescent boy in a natural mentor relationship.
Keywords : mentor profile; mentoring; protégé-mentee; mentor relationship; adolescent boy; natural mentor; adult male; psychosocial perspective; generations; family structure.