Not Without You

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It is time to MAD. If you never thought you could make a difference, never thought you could change the world, never thought you could be a hero…you were not looking in the right place. It is right here and right now.

3 million vs. 15 million

The smaller number represents children with a mentor. The larger number represents the children without one. One child in six has someone to turn to when they are unsure which way to go. They have someone who can answer their questions, teach them skills not learned in school, help them cope with issues at home…someone to count on when it seems like there is no one else.

Five out of Six

…do not. These five children are at risk. How much risk? What kind of risk?

73%

They are more than 73% more likely to use alcohol before age 18.

63%

These children are 63% more likely to skip out on a class.

55%

They are almost 55% more likely to use illegal drugs.

48%

Nearly half of them of them will skip a full day of school before they graduate or drop out.

What to do…

Mentors help children successfully become adults by developing their self-confidence, teaching them relationship and communication skills, coaching teamwork skills and developing positive attitudes for school. Think that is a tall order? Look at it another way.

1 in 3

One-third of all public school students will not graduate high school. Most of the reasons preventing them from graduating could have been avoided with a positive adult influence in their lives to augment parental guidance.

70%

Almost 70% of metropolitan fourth-graders are unable to read at the most basic level. This could be eradicated with one person reading with them as little as one hour per week.

Have to Make It

Getting out of high school is important. Getting to high school is even more important.

3 million

Tweens and early teens are at high risk for suicide. More than 35% of them will attempt it. Need some help with the math?

Today, tomorrow, next Wednesday, three weeks from yesterday and on November 4th,

2,700

of them will attempt to commit suicide. A large portion of them will be successful. Suicide kills more children under the age of 15 than homicide.

Who is at risk?

Girls attempt suicide four times more often than boys. Boys are more successful. Four boys will die by suicide to each girl.

Children attempt suicide because they feel like there is no one to turn to when things get too difficult for them to handle because they do not have the skills to navigate social situations and school.

Make a Difference

You MAD.

1. Find a local mentoring program.

Type your metropolitan area and “mentoring program” into your search engine. Visit their website. If there is an application online, fill it out. If not, email asking for an application and supply your name, address and telephone number.

2. Ask for an appointment.

Most mentoring programs pair children to adults based on the application. Set an appointment to come in and talk to someone about what programs are available. You can use these programs to join team activities with your mentee. See what resources are available to you at the center, including:

  • Art supplies
  • Musical instruments
  • Academic books and tools
  • Recreational books
  • Sports equipment

3. Create your own.

Do you have children? Know a neighbor with a child? Have friends with children? Host a child exchange. Trade your children for someone else’s children. Borrow a neighbor’s child.

4. Once a week.

Every week, spend at least one to three hours with your mentee. Do everyday activities. Teach the child something. Try any of these activities:

  • Play a sport.
  • Grow something.
  • Read a book aloud.
  • Learn a computer program.
  • Operate laundry machines.
  • Help with homework.
  • Write letters, thank you notes or stories.
  • Teach table manners and etiquette.
  • Play with animals.
  • Do chores.
  • Visit the elderly.
  • Learn the history of your country or town.
  • Eat healthy food.
  • Talk.

Simple conversation is a rare commodity. Speak to a child as the person they are. Listen respectfully.

5. Set goals.

Make goals with your mentee. When you both reach them, celebrate the success and share the excitement by making the new goals! Teaching a child how to set and achieve goals plants the seeds of success.

MAD

Children are our future. They are the ones who will be caring for us in our sunset years. They will be the governments which oversee the world in just a few years. They are the next generation of stewards of the Earth. One day, they will raise children of their own.

Anyone can be a mentor.

Give a child a fighting chance. Children are capable of just as much as any other person. With the proper foundation and some encouragement, there is nothing beyond their grasp. With the basic building blocks of knowledge and the skills to make good decisions, children become responsible adults.

Take some time to make a friend. Listen. Answer questions. Be there. You can change the world by making a difference in one child’s life.

Everyone has something to offer a child. You do not need specialized training. The most important talent a mentor has is caring. Open your heart and mind to a child.

~~~~~~~~~~


Have you ever been a mentor? Which person in your childhood made the difference? Will you take the challenge to Make A Difference in a child’s life by becoming a mentor? Name what one thing you could share with a child you think would MAD the most.

(c) Red Dwyer 2012
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44 Comments

  1. Really FB? You sent a graphic I shared from someone else on MY PAGE to more than 100 people, but the post from MY WEBSITE you sent to 10? Your algorithm bites and has no idea why we bother to get people to like our pages. #FBFail #epicfail

    Reply
  2. that explains why I see less than half of these and have to rely on my memory and the subscription email to get posts

    Reply
  3. I saw it, let me post it on my FB page and see what happens.

    As far as the topic goes …. I am afraid I don’t have much to say.

    I do wish I would have had one person acting as a mentor during my childhood and see the importance.
    Alexandra Heep recently posted..What Was Your Childhood Monster?My Profile

    Reply
    • I have seen the difference between siblings where one did and one did not. It is a massive difference when there is an adult who is not in a parental role influencing a child’s life.

      Reply
      • Regardless, my brother and I have come out ahead, relatively speaking. Strangely enough, he did much better than I did, despite having had more to bear during childhood. However, in the light of recent developments maybe there are more lingering effects than at first apparent with him as well …
        Alexandra Heep recently posted..What Was Your Childhood Monster?My Profile

        Reply
        • As we become more aware of our own behaviors and the reasons for our reactions, it becomes easier to attribute it to turning points in our childhood which shaped the way we believe the world works. Some people take most of their lives to realize it. Others never do.

          Reply
  4. My entire generation thought we would MAD. We are in our seventh decade now. What happened or more precisely what did not happen? I have to take consolation in merely my own positive actions esp not being the source of anyone’s misfortune.
    Carl D’Agostino recently posted..Wednesdays, Guest Post: Val ErdeMy Profile

    Reply
    • Each one of us does make a difference as long as we apply ourselves. You cannot be morose for the failure of others. Focus on the things you can change.

      Reply
  5. Huh ??????????
    So Glad i am not on FB
    great post red
    are You being super spammed or something ?
    i am super confused –
    ???????????????
    Love and i hope things get cleared up
    xx
    c
    Cat Forsley recently posted..Soma Star – Part 2 – The Way She Reached Out – By Cat Forsley ©My Profile

    Reply
  6. Great post Red. 🙂
    Wendy Reid recently posted..Smile! You are Loved Unconditionally.My Profile

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  7. Six and seven decades ago, no-one suffered the volume or types of pressure(s) youngsters do today. I knew one or two who went bad but no-one understood the importance of nurture in those days.
    tess kann recently posted..Is It Too Late To Follow The Dream?My Profile

    Reply
    • In fact, it was far more common for even doctors to dismiss clinical depression in children by saying, “You are in the prime of your life. You have your whole life ahead of you.” To a child having a hard time facing tomorrow, having eternity laid before them is enough pressure to break them.

      Reply
  8. Mentoring is important, especially for those who don’t have mentoring going on at home. Question: Where did you get your stats? Is this 3 mil vs…. representative of all kids? A.
    Angela recently posted..Super Granny?My Profile

    Reply
    • No. That is merely American children who fall in the vulnerability range. There are an almost equal number (16M) who fall above and below the target range of 12-18, but still fall within the extended mentoring programs. Those children are unlikely to get a shot at a mentor because so few places offer mentors below 12 or over 18. The most beneficial programs mentor from 5/6 (kindergarten) to 21-24 (college graduation). Those are becoming endangered species.

      Reply
  9. I looked after 42 kids, plus 16 more at the youth club, saw God daughter Becky through college and her older sister Emily through University having looked after both from birth as well as their brother Dominic from 8 and eldest sister Rachel from 7.

    Having been put through the shredder because I was a man looking after children, I have to say only a fool would consider working with children in the UK!!!

    Mentoring is good – I did it with all Pat’s kids and more besides – but these days you have to have three adults working in the same room so if one has to go to the loo there is always two together so malicious accusations do not occur.

    These days the obsession with paedophilia has reached witch-hunt proportions and I have been cleared AGAIN by the investigative Journalists my so-called friends and neighbours sold me to.

    Again.

    Despite being cleared by the criminal records bureau and possessing a pristine certificate to prove my immaculate criminal record which clears me to work with the elderly, disabled, vulnerable adults and children, I have spent sixteen years being victimised for crimes there was no way on Earth I’d be able to commit!

    I can only pray that, finally, it is over because I am running short of friends and I have been left mentally damaged and dependent on medication as a result of the 16 years of relentless persecution.

    Would I work with kids again, having been proven whiter than white?

    I’m insane, not stupid…

    Love and hugs!

    Prenin.
    prenin recently posted..Wednesday – A little writing.My Profile

    Reply
    • Pren, despite your past and its periphery, I do not believe you would have a problem working with or befriending a young adult? The suicide numbers for young adults are horrific. It is the third leading cause of death behind only accident (mostly cars) and homicide (mostly gangs/drugs). Many of them would have known they were not ten-foot tall, bulletproof and invisible had there been someone in the path who was not a parent to merely ask, “Are you insane or stupid?”

      Reply
      • I know what you mean hun, but teenagers terrify me!

        So far I have had repeated death threats from local teenagers, have been held at knife point and gun point, so now the very thought of leaving my home and running into our terrible teens has made me physically sick…

        Love and hugs!

        Prenin.
        prenin recently posted..Thursday – Shopping dayMy Profile

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