Be a Mentor to a Child

“I believe the children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way, show them all the beauty they possess inside…” – Whitney Houston

Nelson Mandela said: “Children are the rock on which our future will be built – the leaders of our
country for good or ill – which is why the rich potential in each child must be developed into skills and
the knowledge that our society needs to enable it to prosper”.

Children learn from the world around them. They emulate the behaviour of the adults who share their
lives. Nothing can be more precious than the gift to a child of moral values such as honesty, fairness,
respect, compassion and responsibility. It is a privilege and a huge responsibility to know that we are
creating the future.

Children may gain an ethical foundation through the teamwork of parents, family, teachers and
through interaction with other children. Every child also learns from cultures other than their own and
may be influenced by traditions, histories, television and stories. A web of moral relationships may thus
be woven into their lives and they in turn will become builders of integrity as they move through to

How often do you get home tired after a full day of pressure at work? Do you find that you have given
so much of yourself to your work that you have little energy left for those who matter most to you, your

Like most people, our family has friends of long standing. An attorney friend of ours finds the best
way to relax and regain his composure after a day at the office is to change into comfortable old clothes
and sit alone listening to his favourite music. Once he emerges his family can look forward to a relaxed
evening together.

Many people find that the best way to unwind from the pressure of work is to go straight from the
office to some form of exercise. A run, a cycle or even a brisk walk will do the trick.
Once you have recharged your batteries you can then give your full attention to your family,
particularly your children. Have patience with your children especially when they are small. Try to make
home life fun. Do not have too many rules but do implement the few rules you do have consistently to instil the correct values. Children grow so quickly that before you know it they will be leaving your home
to live their own lives.

“There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.” – Nelson Mandela

There are of course thousands of children orphaned by illness and other causes, who have no one to
teach them moral values because they have no parents to welcome them home! An orphaned child needs
to be fed and clothed for 365 days of the year but they also need to be loved and nurtured.
Reach out to just one child who is not your own. Help shape his or her future and so contribute
positively to the future for all of us.

If you cannot take an orphaned child into your home, then support those organisations which
sponsor and mentor our orphaned children. A child can grow into a happy, confident adult through the
love and care of people who teach this universal truth – treat others as you would like to be treated.

This post is an excerpt taken from my book You’re Awesome. You can read the full chapter in my book.