Child mentoring pays big dividends

Jan 02, 2012

Child mentoring pays big dividends
Photo by bujiie under CC BY 2.0.

by Pam Norman

Have you ever really thought about what it takes to be a child mentor? It only takes one person to make the difference in the life of a child. Kiwanis members around the world engage in child mentor programs every day. Following are five reasons for you to consider becoming a mentor:

  1. Children need you. Children thrive on consistency. Be the one that consistently shows up for activities, the weekly conversation, to help with homework, to share an ice cream cone or just hang out.

  2. Children are like sponges. Modeling best behaviors around children may inspire them to change theirs.

  3. It takes a village. Children are influenced in many different ways by many different people. You might just be the person a child will click with today.

  4. Children need to be challenged. I’ve always told my own children that I set high expectations because I know they are capable. Don’t shortchange a mentee by setting the bar too low. Ask questions, provoke thoughts and encourage them to reach their full potential.

  5. Parents sometimes need help. Today’s typical family may not be the Ozzie and Harriet model of days past. Single parents, grandparents raising grandchildren, aunts and uncles with guardianship could all benefit from another perspective on raising successful children in today’s ever changing world. Consider how your mentor involvement could extend to the adults in your mentee’s life.

Take a chance. Move beyond your comfort level. Look at the world from a child’s perspective and then add a dose of love and kindness as you mentor the next generation.

For resources to find mentoring programs in your community visit www.mentoring.org.

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