By: Colleen Bell
As the holidays are fast approaching, many people have begun to make New Year’s Resolutions. They resolve to be kinder, to make more time for significant others, to work out more, lose weight, eat more healthily, sleep more, read more, spend less time on Facebook, and many others. Whether or not you make official New Year’s Resolutions, I encourage you to consider a personal resolution to incorporate children into your life.
There are several reasons why making time for children will positively impact you-and I’ll get to those in a moment. Let’s first consider how making time for young people makes a difference for them. When young people have positive role models, the payoffs are incredible. They feel more cared about, more supported, have someone to look up to, are more likely to succeed in school and stay out of trouble, and demonstrate improved social skills. We all hope that every child has the loving and supportive family environment that they deserve. However, not every child does, and some children who have supportive family environments can still use a little bit of extra help. In fact, all children can, because they are young and still figuring out how to navigate the world and their interactions with others! I, as a senior in college, am still figuring out how to navigate the world, for that matter. I still need role models!
Spending time with youngsters positively impacts your life as well. Kids have an incredible curiosity for the world and trying to see things through their eyes is challenging and inspiring. Playing with kids can encourage your imagination and give you more energy. Plus, it’s just really fun! At Whitman, the mentor program is all about forming positive relationships with elementary school children who need a little bit of extra support. Whitties go once a week and spend lunch and recess with their mentee. The mentees attend Walla Walla Public Schools in K-5th grade. I’ve heard stories from participants that range from hilarious and fun to inspiring and meaningful. If you’re looking for a way to get involved and make a positive difference in the spring, consider joining the Whitman Mentor Program.
Learn more about the Whitman Mentor Program.