Everyone knows that children need role models in order to grow and develop into well-rounded adults. What many people don’t realize, however, is that the benefits of having a childhood mentor can last a lifetime. A mentor is defined as someone who provides guidance, support, and advice to someone else. Mentors of children include teachers, coaches, and family members, among others. Children who have mentors often perform better in school, acquire better social skills, and are more likely to succeed in their chosen careers according to Youth.gov. Young adults who had mentors are also statistically 130% more likely to take up leadership positions in life as reported by Mentoring.org.
If you’re looking for ways to make a difference in a child’s life, consider finding or becoming a mentor through school, sports, or your community. Here are some benefits of having a childhood mentor.
Create a positive self-image
Mentorship can play a vital role in helping children develop a positive self-image. Through mentorship, children can learn to set goals and work towards them. They can also learn to overcome obstacles and challenges. By seeing themselves achieving positive outcomes, children can develop a strong sense of self-worth.
Additionally, a childhood mentor can help a child to develop a positive self-image by providing support and encouragement. By highlighting a child’s unique attributes and worth, mentors can give children the hope and inspiration they need to reach their full potential. Children with a positive self-image are more likely to succeed in school and their future careers.
Develop communication skills
Many children have difficulty developing communication skills, and thus struggle to articulate their needs and advocate for themselves. A mentor can help a child understand the value of skills like active listening, assessing nonverbal cues, and organizing thoughts into clear speech. Additionally, through open communication with each other, the child can learn how to best communicate with other adults. Mastering the art of communication has long-term benefits as the child grows and continues to interact with others.
Improve social skills
Mentorship can provide children with a safe and supportive environment for the child to practice social skills, such as sharing, cooperation, and assertiveness. A mentor can also provide guidance to help a child learn how to avoid potential disagreements as well as how to resolve conflicts in a constructive way. These are invaluable skills that will benefit children throughout their life.
Build on problem-solving skills
Children are often faced with challenges and problems that they need to solve on their own. A mentor can help children to develop problem-solving skills by teaching them how to think critically, explore different perspectives, and find creative solutions. The mentor can also teach practical stress management techniques to help the child stay calm under pressure. With encouragement through tough times, children can build resilience to last them a lifetime.
Grow leadership skills
A childhood mentor can help their mentee become a leader by teaching them how to set goals and the actionable steps to achieve them, how to work as a team, and help others. Much of this is taught by example, as this is what the mentor is doing in his/her role. But it can also be personalized to the child’s interests and passions because the mentor knows the child so well. As struggles inevitably arise in the child’s life, the mentor can provide advice on how to overcome the hurdle and end up on top.
Positively influence their future
One of the most important ways a mentor can benefit a child is by positively influencing their future. A mentor can provide guidance and support to help a child make better decisions, stay on track in school, and avoid risky behaviors. Children who have mentors are more likely to graduate from college and are less likely to get involved in drugs or crime, according to the National Institute of Justice. Additionally, it has been reported that “youth in school-based mentoring programs turned in higher quality class work, did better academically (especially in science and written and oral communication), and completed more of their assignments than their peers who did not have mentors.” So while mentors teach children valuable life skills they can utilize throughout their lives, they also serve as guides on the children’s paths to success.
If you had a childhood mentor, you may have experienced firsthand the positive impact that such a relationship can have. Even if you didn’t have a formal mentor, there’s a good chance that you had an adult in your life who served as a positive role model and influenced your development in some way. Think of where you would be today without that person.
These types of relationships can be beneficial at any stage of life, but they can be especially helpful during childhood. Our tutors at E.R.E. take their roles as mentors very seriously, always striving to guide their mentees in ways that will benefit them in the long term. If you are interested in mentoring our students, sign up to be a tutor for our nonprofit. You will be trained in how to provide the best guidance for your students. You can also help us support students in need by donating or sharing our resources with others.