06 May 2008

Today is the first day of the rest of your life!




I'm sure you must be familiar with the expression, "you're never too old to learn." Funny thing, one of my personal "Aha! moments" was... you're never too old! Let me explain.

For as long as I can remember, I've always wanted to work with TEENS. Truthfully, my desire to get involved began when ->I<- was a teenager myself and it took

20+ years to bear fruit!

I began my current involvement with mentoring in 1997 at the "ripe old age" of 42!

I've worn many hats within a local Big Brother/Big Sister-type organization, in addition to the 5 years spent in one-on-one relationships with children. Fund raising, chaperone, planning activities, recruiting, speaking and the best part? Two of the three children are actively in my life, today!

This post and the 2 pics above (2002 & 2008) are in celebration of a very special relationship between two friends and a reunion that just took place two weeks ago. I can already sense the reforming of this precious bond on a foundation that was so carefully formed 6 years ago.

I AM BLESSED!

Jolene L. Roehlkepartain, wrote "“Everyone in a community can make a difference in the lives of children and youth. Even if you don't think you can tackle tough problems such as a violence, alcohol and other drug use, or school problems, you can make a difference by being a caring, responsible friend for young people.” Need some ideas for what you can do today? Here are 150 of them.

150 Ways To Show Kids You Care

Notice them.
Smile a lot.
Acknowledge them.
Learn their names.
Seek them out.
Remember their birthday.
Ask them about themselves
Look in their eyes when you talk to them.
Listen to them.
Play with them.
Read aloud together.
Giggle together.
Be nice.
Say yes a lot.
Tell them their feelings are okay.
Set boundaries that keep them safe.
Be honest.
Be yourself.
Listen to their stories.
Hug them.
Forget your worries sometimes and concentrate only on them.
Notice when they're acting differently.
Present options when they seek your counsel.
Play outside together.
Surprise them.
Stay with them when they're afraid.
Invite them over for juice.
Suggest better behaviors when they act out.
Feed them when they're hungry.
Delight in their discoveries.
Share their excitement.
Send them a letter or postcard.
Follow them when they lead.
Notice when they're absent.
Call them to say hello.
Hide surprises for them to find.
Give them space when they need it.
Contribute to their collections.
Discuss their dreams and nightmares.
Laugh at their jokes.
Be relaxed.
Kneel, squat, or sit so you're at their eye level.
Answer their questions.
Tell them how terrific they are.
Create a tradition with them and keep it.
Learn what they have to teach.
Use your ears more than your mouth.
Make yourself available.
Show up at their concerts, games, and events.
Find a common interest.
Hold hands during a walk.
Apologize when you've done something wrong.
Listen to their favorite music with them.
Keep the promises you make.
Wave and smile when you part.
Display their artwork in your home.
Thank them.
Point out what you like about them.
Clip magazine pictures or articles that interest them.
Give them lots of compliments.
Catch them doing something right.
Encourage win-win solutions.
Give them your undivided attention.
Ask for their opinion.
Have fun together.
Be curious with them.
Introduce them to your friends and family.
Tell them how much you like being with them.
Let them solve most of their own problems.
Meet their friends.
Meet their parents.
Let them tell you how they feel.
Help them become an expert at something.
Be excited when you see them.
Tell them about yourself.
Let them act their age.
Praise more; criticize less.
Be consistent.
Admit when you make a mistake.
Enjoy your time together.
Give them a special nickname.
Marvel at what they can do.
Tell them how proud you are of them.
Pamper them.
Unwind together.
Be happy.
Ask them to help you.
Support them.
Applaud their successes.
Deal with problems and conflicts while they're still small.
Chaperone a dance.
Tell them stories in which they are the hero.
Believe in them.
Nurture them with good food.
Be flexible.
Delight in their uniqueness.
Let them make mistakes.
Notice when they grow.
Wave and honk when you drive by them.
Give them immediate feedback.
Include them in conversations.
Respect them.
Join in their adventures.
Visit their schools.
Help them learn something new.
Be understanding when they have a difficult day.
Give them good choices.
Respect the choices they make.
Be silly together.
Hang out together.
Make time.
Inspire their creativity.
Accept them as they are.
Become their advocate.
Appreciate their personality.
Talk openly with them.
Tolerate their interruptions.
Trust them.
Share a secret.
Write a chalk message on their sidewalk.
Create a safe, open environment.
Be available.
Cheer their accomplishments.
Encourage them to help others.
Tackle new tasks together.
Believe what they say.
Help them take a stand and stand with them.
Daydream with them.
Do what they like to do.
Make decisions together.
Magnify their magnificence.
Build something together.
Encourage them to think big.
Celebrate their firsts and lasts, such as the first day of school.
Go places together.
Welcome their suggestions.
Visit them when they're sick.
Tape record a message for them.
Help them learn from mistakes.
Be sincere.
Introduce them to people of excellence.
Tell them what you expect of them.
Give them your phone number.
Introduce them to new experiences.
Share a meal together.
Talk directly together.
Be spontaneous.
Expect their best; don't expect perfection.
Empower them to help and be themselves.
Love them, no matter what.

6 comments:

Lisa Renéa said...

What a beautiful post! Kudos to you for having patience and taking time to work with children!!!

Marilyn said...

You're doing a wonderful thing, Vicki! And how fun to reconnect with your young friend!

Aimeslee said...

Wow, that's so rewarding! (I did a bit of it back in my 20's when I was single). All children want to be cared about, and should be.

Cathee said...

Thank you for this post , it is so inspiring and it made me cry! Hugs Cathee from altered art o.
catartnsoul.blogspot.com

HA! Designs said...

OH! I love teenagers too! LOVE THEM! I don't know why I feel such a connection when so much of the world is so negative towards that age, but I get them...they're fabulous! Kudos to you for investing your time in loving them practically. You ROCK!

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hello!

What an amazing post!

The points mentioned by you are so exhaustive and well researched that any one who follows them will be a hit not only with children but quite popular with adults also.

Congratulations and thanks for such a painstaking effort!

Have a wonderful day!