I always have stories that relate to what I'm trying to say. My children roll their eyes when I say, "So..." But I have a story about why we do this...why we mentor.
So...let me introduce our children. The 6 footer, the 5 footer, and the used to be 4 footer. The 6 footer was getting ready to take her first major trip for school to Washington DC. We set her up with a debit card connected to her savings account. She got the card in the mail and I was so excited to hand her the envelope and gushed about how this was a milestone in maturity, etc. etc. She looked at me kind of puzzled and opened the envelope. "How do I get cash with this? Is this like a credit card?" I was momentarily silenced. What do you mean how? That's when I realized we had never talked through the process when I got money from an ATM or neither one of us were paying attention to the moment of credit card purchase and the lesson to be learned. This simple task of using a debit card was a milestone in itself. These are tasks we do in our lives not even thinking that there are those who may not know about it. These everyday experiences are what builds the skills in children to guide them on the pathway to successful adulthood.
THIS is why we do it.
It's the experiences, my friends. The positive connections with another individual with the intent of lending your experiences to enhance the life of a child.
We connect by experiences going to-- the beach, the hockey game, the coffee shop, to your home to bake cookies, the park, the YMCA, take the dog for a walk, change the oil in the car, the baseball game, watch the marching band, using the ATM...the list is endless.
The deal is this.
You do what you do and you bring someone along for the experience, right?
The secret is this.
You feel like you are doing everyday activities, yet you are offering life experiences to children and youth.
There is a book in the Bridges Kinship office that you can borrow...
1001 Things Every Teen Should Know Before They Leave Home: (Or Else They'll Come Back) by Harry H. Harrison, Jr.
Some of this relates to what we are trying to do while mentoring. It's a quick and funny read, none the less. Click here for a smattering of suggestions.