How to be a Mentor
Your child's best example of a successful thinker and self learner is you! Your life doesn't have to be perfect, so set an example of resilience and perseverance when mistakes happen.
Focus on habits of the mind that you most want your hcild to acquire and make them a priority. He will absorb the lesson of what you DO better than what you say.
Talk it out – discuss what you're doing and why. Wonder out loud. Consider alternatives out loud. Express frustration, but follow it up with how you will deal with the problem. The second part is probably more important than the first. Many of us talk about how we feel frustrated or angry but not discussing what to then do about it, which is why many of our toddlers don't know what to do with their angry and frustration.
Model useful attitudes towards projects, mistakes, goals and life. Take time to express delight and curiosity. “hmm, I wonder how that works, I wonder what that does? I want to know more about that, I think I'll get a book out at the library.” Think out loud! Slow Down! If you must do errands with your little ones, take more time and allow adventuring, learning, make it a teaching opportunity, not a rush and come home thing. Ask questions before you go. “What did you want to know about where we are going today?” “What kind of things can you bring along? Did you want some pen and paper so you can remember your questions, ideas and drawings?”
Let your daily life reflect your deepest interests, your passions, and your purpose towards goals. Talk about your passions in front your children. Get excited and share your excitement and your accomplishments. Celebrate by going out for dinner as a family and talking about how you are proud of mommy, daddy or the kids.
Everything you want for your child, could be something you want for yourself. For example I would love my children to want Playful learning, Curiosity, Expressing emotion and talents, Valuing intelligence and Community. So if I want that for them, then I must live that myself. This lesson is best and doesn't come from a text book, but from our lives. They will learn this more than anything else I try to teach them on paper because they will live it and see my living it.
THINGS you MIGHT do...
- Wonder out loud
- Express delight and interests
- Devote time to your interests. Invest in yourself!
- Share your passions with others
- Ask questions and make meaningful suggestions
- Voice disappointment, but follow up by voicing determination for yourself
- Reflect on your own accomplishment and share them
- Ask for help and offer help to others
- Follow through with what you say your going to do.
- Love yourself, this will teach your children to love themselves as well.
Y ou can help your child identify questions by helping him rephrase his wonderings, uncertainties and confusions as queries. If he wonders out loud, says he doesn't know something, or has a problem with a friend, you can help him re-frame his uncertainties and investigate. He can solve his problems with a little help, not a lot. Trust in his abilities even as a toddler/preschooler. They are smarter than you realize.
Maintain an ongoing list of questions on a large wall poster. Gently remind your child about his ideas and intentions he may have written before. Ask if he's satisfied with his results or if he want to investigate further. Encourage life long learning.