As children of all ages prepare to return to school in Oklahoma City, mentors are gearing up for another year of building relationships, and filling voids in the lives of children. Mentoring children provides an opportunity to meet and establish relationships with children of all ages, races, and backgrounds. Speak to a mentor in Oklahoma City, and you quickly learn mentors get as much from the relationships as the children.
What makes a good mentor ?
Mentoring children requires numerous traits and attributes. A good mentor recognizes several things which make the experience better for themselves, and the children they mentor. Several school aged children who have interacted with mentors were questioned for this article, and their answers shed light on a child’s perspective of a good mentor. T’Keyah Flowers is a 17 year old who is a senior this year. T’Keyah said the most important characteristic in a mentor is someone who can relate to her, because they come from a similar background. 15 year old Travonna Williams is entering the 10th grade. She said the most important characteristic she looks for is someone who she knows she can trust. Several other children were questioned, and together created a list of what children look for in a mentor. The list includes: 1) the mentor must understand each child is different, 2) always be a good listener, 3) tell the child the truth, and keep promises, 4) show vulnerability. Children can relate to someone who seems human, and is not someone who has all the answers, and 5) have fun with your child.
Find a mentor in OKC
Oklahoma City has numerous organizations that provide school based, and community mentoring programs, and most are eager to accept more mentors. The list includes, Big Brothers and Big Sisters of OKC, The Boys and Girls Clubs of Oklahoma County, Chesapeake Energy’s Mentoring Program, Citizens Caring for Children, and Academic All-State Alumni Mentoring Program. Each organization has a website with information on their programs, and who to contact for more information.
Mentoring children is an opportunity to make an impact in a child’s life. Anyone who has mentored a child will tell you the experience became an important part of their daily lives. Many relationships formed between mentors and children become permanent and mentors will tell you they are rewarded by the experience as much as the child they interact with.