It is vital for children to have good mentors in their life.
The above statement seems like it would be an undeniable fact, yet in our modern world, where everything happens at a fast pace and technology has taken such firm root, it is not a statement parents give much thought.
Parents from the younger generation, Millennials if you will (though I hate using that phrase) need more help than ever when it comes to raising their children. There are so many examples of co-parenting, (most good but some bad) and other types of family units that it is sometimes hard for children to get the vital counseling that they need from a mentor or role model.
Mentors fill so many roles for children that it is hard to come up with a complete list of all the ways they provide necessary guidance at an age where it is most needed. These vital relationships can last for years, even a lifetime for the right match of people, and here are just a couple of the ways that mentoring can help children grow into balanced and successful young adults.
Freedom of expression
A good mentor knows when to step in and when to step back. Children do not want to be in situations where someone else is dictating all their choices. Frankly, if someone is controlling their life, there is no opportunity for them to grow.
A good mentor plays the role of a supporter at times. He or she is willing to let children make decisions, be they correct or incorrect (within reason) and to let them be themselves. This trust also results in a level of accomplishment for the mentor as with the right vital guidance children will succeed off their own choices and their freedom to make decisions.
Development of confidence
One trait that we commonly see in children and teens today is a sense of being withdrawn from life. Parents find it all too easy when a child at a young age is boisterous or inquisitive, to sit them in front of a tablet or TV for the evening. While there is undoubtedly a place for that in raising kids, there are so many good entertainment options out there that involve learning, and this can have a negative effect if used too often.
In the past, and by that I mean 20 years ago or so, children learned how to be social because there were basically no other options. If you wanted entertainment, then you had to build a friend group with similar likes and dislikes and go from there. Today, kids don’t have that, so confidence within the peer group can be challenging to achieve.
A mentor will help with this instantly with a human connection to the broader world.
Article by Steve Wright