Mentoring: Ensuring No Child Gets Left Behind
By Donovan Grant
“Study anyone who’s great and you’ll find they apprenticed to a master, or several masters. Therefore, if you want to achieve greatness, renown, and superlative success, you must apprentice to a master” ~ Robert Allen
Parents take their newborns home from the hospital with no instructions, no manuals and no money back guarantee. In fact, as soon as we demonstrate we know how to install the car seat, we're sent on our way. How do we raise our kids after that? Well, we need to figure a lot of that out on our own and we do the best job that we can.
I’m sure many of you will agree that modern parents have an even tougher job guiding their children than our mums and dads did. One thing for sure is that it takes least 18 years to help our children weave their way through the wonders and pitfalls of the 21st century life.
Isn’t it a great gift to parents to discover and nurture each child's unique talents? It’s not just sports and school and arts, but talents like leadership, empathy, problem-solving, and humour.
The thing is somehow in our busy and stress filled lives we have had to let some things go. In some cases, it seems one of the more important things we are losing is the relationship with our children. We feed, clothe, transport and correct them and feel we have done our job.
Remember this- your role as a mentor deserves to be taken seriously too; even if you aren't a parent. Other responsible adults acting as mentors in our children's lives can be just as meaningful in helping the child become a successful citizen in our society.
Mentored by the First Lady?
Michelle Obama took time out of the President’s state visit to the UK today, to meet a group of London schoolgirls she first met three years ago. The thirty-seven students enjoyed the opportunity to put their questions to the First Lady. She told them about her own lack of self-confidence growing up and how they mustn't "be afraid to fail".
The value of a mentor
One teacher stated: "Her words continue to provide an inspiration to the students and many have attributed their increased ambition and achievement to what she said."
A clearly uplifted young lady said: "She made me believe that anything can happen. I used to think that there were things I couldn't do but now I believe in myself."
The Head Teacher was over the moon: "Her visit reaffirmed our guiding principles that young people from disadvantaged backgrounds can, and do, achieve as highly as those from more privileged backgrounds."
How would your child benefit form a mentor?
How can we help mentor our children so that they realise their full potential? On some days, parenting can be like choosing the pieces of a puzzle that come together. When they form a whole picture it becomes a wonderful relationship between parent and child. In fact the completed puzzle is not just developing a child to his potential, but creating a loving, caring family, that is developed to its full potential. On other days, you may not be able to put a foot right, but there is always another day.
Three great tips that I’ve used with my kids are these:
- Find a coach, mentor, book or audio program that will help to enhance your child’s pursuit of a goal that they have.
- Network with someone who has done what your child wants to do. If things work out ask the person if you can interview them for 20 minutes to get a few crucial next steps for your child.
- Seek an opportunity for your child to shadow an expert for a day. Alternatively they can volunteer to work for someone you think they can learn from.
It is clear that our children are being over-loaded and over-scheduled all in the name of academic success. They really do need to be mentored to help them prepare for and succeed in the adult world. In order to help them to succeed, let’s go back to the basics of nurturing and support that are key to their development.
A developing young person cannot become the victim of their failures, their challenges and their youth. We must put up encouraging measures to help along the way.
Here's your job- make a decision about mentoring and follow through. By making a decision you send a signal to your growing child that you are serious. Your child is always waiting for opportunities to learn. Lead them which direction to go in…. and their results will visibly change!
I believe in you and your dreams.
Ps. Leave a comment below and tell us about your favourite mentor . . .
Donovan Grant is a coach, mentor, copywriter, speaker and IT professional who brings his wisdom of parenting for the last 21 years and coaching clients through the stages of raising youth and empowering leaders with life lessons that are changing generations. He is a passionate and committed leader who believes that we all have the ability to help to change someone else’s life. Actively doing so as a catalyst for many years he teaches how to live a life of balance, integrity and fun, whether at work or at play. www.donovangrant.com