Showing posts with label Mentoring Children. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mentoring Children. Show all posts

Mentoring Children

All parents hope that their children will grow up healthy, happy, and productive. They aspire to have children who have the skills to contribute to their own well-being and to the well-being of their families and community. There is no magic bullet for developing these capacities in children. Literally thousands of programs have been developed to support families in their efforts to help children to become competent, confident, caring young people who have positive social connections and good characters.

Children have the potential to succeed in life and contribute to society. However, not all children get the support they need to thrive. By all estimates, an astounding 17.6 million young people - nearly half the population between 10 and 18 years of age - live in situations that put them at risk of not living up to their potential. Without immediate intervention by caring adults, they could make choices that undermine their futures. The presence of caring adults offering support, advice, friendship, reinforcement and constructive examples has proved to be powerful tools for helping young people fulfill their potential.

Mentoring is a structured and trusting relationship that brings young people together with caring individuals who offer guidance, support and encouragement aimed at developing the competence and character of the mentee. A mentor is an adult who, along with the parents, help young people bring out strengths that are already there. They are good listeners, compassionate and teach children how to live an honorable life. A mentor is not a foster parent, therapist, parole officer, or cool peer. The role of a mentor is not to "fix" young people but rather to help them achieve their full potential. Enforcing competence, confidence, connection, character, caring, and contribution to self and society, help develop a child into a productive and respectful adult in later years.

A mentor's main purpose is to help a young person define individual goals and find ways to achieve them. Since the expectations of each child will vary, the mentor's job is to encourage the development of a flexible relationship that responds to the young person's needs. Using influence and resources as a decision maker, adults can bring new hope to young lives through the power of mentoring. A mentor encourages positive choices, promotes high self-esteem, teaches respect for oneself and family, supports academic achievement, and introduces the young person to new ideas. Youth who meet regularly with their mentors are 46% less likely than their peers to start using illegal drugs and 27% less likely to start drinking alcohol (Public/Private Ventures study of Big Brothers Big Sisters). About 40% of teenager's waking hours are spent without any companionship or supervision. Mentors provide children and teens with a valuable place to spend free time. Children learn to make thoughtful choices, fulfill their commitments, acknowledge their mistakes and account for their actions. By taking control of their lives, children realize they can achieve more than they ever dreamed possible.

I encourage you to think of the mentors in your own life - a coach, teacher, or another caring adult, and take a few minutes to consider all the contributions they have made in your life during your developing years. I know throughout my own adult life and business career, I have been greatly rewarded by years of mentoring children and young adults into productive, happy individuals that are successful in life. Children need someone to believe in them. Often times, children lack the attention needed to reinforce morals, values and self esteem on a daily basis. It makes all the difference in the world during times of indecision in their lives to have that reinforcement. Mentoring develops children into young adults who have confidence, determination and self-awareness.

Mentoring is recognized throughout the US as an important part of a child's life and some states have already proposed legislation to the Senate. The Coalition of State Mentoring Partnerships has worked closely with Capitol Hill staff and Senators to advocate this legislation. The Mentoring for All Act 2008 (S. 3200) is one of the most significant legislation actions to benefit mentoring. Please call; send emails or letters to your Senators urging support for the bill.

Denise Dema is a Business and Life Management Coach who has over 20 years experience empowering individuals, entrepreneurs and business owners to attain self-defined success in their professional & personal lives. To learn more about the author and her practice please visit


Teaching Your Children To Have Faith

Having faith, and teaching your children to have faith, is an important part of the fundamental growth of your relationship with your child and will determine how your child sees the world. First, we have to understand what faith really means in order to embrace the thought process that will enable you to teach your child to live their life to its' full potential and believe in themselves.

 Faith is an acceptance of what we cannot see but feel deep within our hearts. Your actions are a direct result of your faith. Being able to have faith in one's self and in one's future is important, especially in trying times. Being an example of faith for your children will keep them on the right track. The dictionary defines faith as "Belief that something is true, in spite of evidence to the contrary". Christian faith is defined as "The theological virtue defined as secure belief in God and a trusting acceptance of God's will." What is God's will, but that each of us may live an honorable life?

Teaching faith is really instilling a set of principles and values in your children from a very young age in order that their actions will lead them onto a positive path. The same principles apply for every religion and ethnic background, so having faith is universal in spirit.

Faith is also verb, because it means we must act on what we believe. Faith, as we have seen, is the theological virtue of being secure in our belief. As children grow they are influenced by many things that cross their path in life like their parents' words and actions, things that happen in school and other children/adult relationships with them. All these experiences, both good and bad create the thought processes that follow them throughout their adult life. Instilling faith as a belief system as they grow into young adults is very important because it instills confidence in them, even when they fail in something.

Teaching children to have faith in their own ability is the first step in being able to act upon it. By repeating daily words of confidence to your children, discussing choices that they make, both good and bad and encouraging them to take the initiative to act upon positive thoughts, will help them believe in themselves and will encourage them to do their best. Trusting your children to make the right decisions with your guidance gives them the freedom to develop their own faith and encourages them to make the right choices. That is the beginning of teaching faith.

Parents' actions create the daily influences that determine the mindset of their children. To have consideration for others and to be honest in your intentions is what makes children grow into honorable adults. Having faith in others, not just themselves, allows them to view what happens on a daily basis in a non-judgmental way. Expecting respect and giving respect to people around you is something that should be automatic, but sometimes the simplest things become complicated and misguided. The lack of faith in all people creates bitter attitudes and allows the blame game to begin. All we have control over is ourselves. As parents, we have control over our children's development. Displaying faith through your own actions with your children will show them how important it is to believe in things without always seeing the physical evidence.

Long ago, someone made the analogy that faith is a lot like the wind. We cannot see the wind, nor can we hear the wind unless it blows against something, and we can only feel the wind when it touches our skin or rustles our hair. Faith is like that wind. We cannot see what we believe in, we cannot hear what we believe in unless we open our eyes to the truth, but we can sure feel that our faith is justified by the joy we feel in our hearts. Remember, in the end, we all put our faith in something, so let it be the truth. The old saying is, "the truth will set you free". Having confident belief in the truth of a person, devotion to, or trust in somebody or something, especially without logical proof is what faith is all about. This all starts with the faith in oneself. With faith, one has hope, trust, love, and the certainty that all things are indeed possible. Displaying that to your children and coaching them through their formative years will enable them to develop their own faith and to be a shining example of a life well lived.

"You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth" -Kahil Gibran

Reach your full potential to mentor your children! Work with a Business and Life Management Coach with over 20 years experience empowering people to attain self-defined success in their professional and personal lives. To learn more about the author or to book a complimentary session, go to today!