"A father is neither an anchor to hold us back, nor a sail to take us there, but a guiding light whose love shows us the way." ~Anonymous
You as a mentor are probably pretty aware of your student's family situation. They may or may not have a father actively involved in their lives. As yesterday was Father's Day, this would be a good thing to discuss with them this week. Find out how it was for them; it may be an eye-opening experience. Their father could be incarcerated. They may never have met their father. Maybe their father is there physically, but not emotionally or personally for them. Or maybe their father is the biggest hero in their life and they don't know how to show them. It may even be that you know and can see the love their father has for them but doesn't have the opportunity to prove it to them. Help your mentee learn to talk about this and their other familial relationships. Allow them a safe place and reassure them that whatever it is they share with you is kept confidential (exception of mandated reporting issues). Bring it out of them by shooting hoops together, or throwing a football, or putting a book together as a gift, and ask if this is something they would do with their father. There are many casual scenarios during which you can start this important conversation. Ask your case manager if you would like additional suggestions.
"Fathers have grown in many ways, children in only a few. And yet it is often hard to tell, just who is teaching who."