Have you ever tried teaching your child in nursery class numeracy assignment and he/she tells you “but my teacher didn’t do it that way” or “my teacher said . . .”? This statement shows that as young as they are, they look up to their teachers as encyclopedias of knowledge that can’t be wrong. I am sure many parents heard this regularly except your child is home schooled. Most times, parents will have to be patient and wait for them to outgrow this mentality, until then, we had to listen to them ‘regaling’ us with stories about the ‘coolest thing ever’ their teachers told them. They are more likely to obey everything their teachers say concerning their studies and performances at this point. I thought through this process one day, and I concluded that children having mentors before becoming teenagers is not too early.
Mentors are motivators, they are role models and they help in shaping children’s future. They help in shaping children’s future because they are leaders, teachers, advisers, and coaches. Your child probably has a teacher in school that he or she adores; the teacher can be your child’s mentor while in primary school. His/her duty at this level is to give the child pep talks on the importance of doing his/her best in everything as well as tracking the child’s performance. The fact that your child already looks up to and wants the teacher to be proud of him or her, she/he will listen and adhere to what he /she is told. This will help the child improve greatly.
If your child is weak in a subject in school, you can have an adult around you, who is very good in that subject talk to him regularly about the importance of the subject to his academic pursuit or personal development. Please note that mentors cannot change the way children’s brains develop but do not underestimate the powerful positive effects that this process can have on their young minds, studies, growth and development.
Ensuring teenagers have mentors will help them a lot through the difficult transition phase of puberty to maturity. According to various researches conducted on mentoring teenagers and youths, it is clear that children who have mentors are more likely to complete their education, aim high in life, volunteer regularly, hold leadership positions and are interested in becoming mentors too. Regular mentoring should be encouraged till children are grown and can make intelligent life’s decisions. After this, they can choose their own mentors without your help.
As parents / adults, we can’t do it all; we can’t be everything at once. In fact, when children have mentors who believe in them, see potential in them and give them support every step of the way, it makes them feel loved. It gives them the sense security that someone apart from mom and dad cares about them. Therefore, I implore you to entrust your child to a person who is trustworthy, who has integrity, and is God fearing. Parental efforts coupled with that of mentors will help children immensely to become well rounded individuals in life.