Do you see kids around you who could really use a great mentor? Do you feel the desire to help kids choose smart paths in life? So many kids are hurting and getting lost in life. Our kids need all the help they can get in life to learn to make wise choices and be encouraged. Here are some ways that will get you started in being a great mentor for kids.
Slow down – Take time to get to know them. Find out what they are interested in, what they like to do in school and their free time. When you take time to get to know kids they are more willing to talk to you about real issues in their lives.
Listen – Listen more than you talk. By asking thoughtful questions and then listening, kids will realize you truly care about their thoughts and feelings. You don’t always have to “fix” everything. Listen and offer help where you can, and know when to step back and let them figure it out. Sometimes they need you to help them solve problems, and sometimes they need you to step back and offer tips while they figure out the solution.
Consistency – Be consistent. Kids need to know they can count on you to do what you say you will do and be there when you say you will be. They also need to know boundaries and that you will hold them to those boundaries.
Praise – Praise kids for a job well done, or for the times they open up to you. Kids need to feel that sense of accomplishment, and a little praise goes a long way to making kids feel good about the right choices they make.
Partner – Do everything you can to partner with a parent in mentoring their child. It takes a team. Often you can be as much an encouragement to parents as their children when you make every one a part of the team.
You could be the difference one kid needs. Get involved with your local schools and community to see what programs they have in place, and how you can be a great mentor for the kids in your community.