What’s the Power of Mentoring?
From birth, children look up to others in their lives—literally and figuratively. Early on, their parents are the most important people in their lives; then siblings enter the chain of command along with grandparents and other caregivers. That chain will continue to grow as the child grows, adding links to include peers, extended family, teachers and others who enter their lives.
“Looking up to” will manifest in different ways. As babies, they’ll mimic noises and facial expression, winning adoration with each coo. Through toddlerhood and onward, they’ll pick up facial expressions, mannerisms and behaviors. Some of it is endearing—some, not so much. While not everyone they meet should get “look up to” status, your child will inevitably add links: The key is in helping them to find positive, deserving influences and mentors.
Mentors play a huge role in young lives. Beyond serving as a model for early expressions, they help to model behaviors and personalities. Having great mentors can have a huge impact on your little ones.
Consider that mentored youth are 55% more likely to enroll in college and 130% more likely to hold leadership positions than un-mentored peers. Beyond that, a recent study found that mentored youth are less likely to have behavioral problems, are more confident, and less likely to have a bully. Those are not small benefits. And while mentoring can have huge impacts in the long run, it also affects who our kids are today.
By putting people in our kids’ lives who they can learn from and look up to, we expand their potential for learning. Let’s face it: Until about age three, we’re the most important, awesome people our kids know—but then they learn the world is bigger than us. With that knowledge typically comes some resistance to listening to us—not to mention actively trying to learn from us. Somewhere around age four or five, they seem to start not just resisting parents as their teachers, but letting us know that there are definitely more cool people in their lives. And therein lies the perfect place for a mentor.
Mentors can play any number of roles in our children’s lives, from teaching them a specific skill to tutoring in academics or simply being a role model and friend. They come in all sorts of relationships: friends, coaches, babysitters, friends’ parents. Odds are that your child already has a mentor or two in their life—we hope they do, anyway! And we hope those mentors are positive forces who will teach your child, build their confidence and help them grow in the best of ways.
Our coaches and team work hard to be more than just a “trainer” for our members—we know that we aren’t just teaching skills; we’re shaping minds and personalities that will last far beyond the hours spent at our gym. If your child is a member, we hope we are one of their mentors and to be there for many years to come.