January is National Mentoring Month and a great time to consider building a mentoring relationship in your child’s life. Mentoring allows a role model to offer instruction and guidance toward a path of success. For children who have experienced adverse childhood experiences, often referred to as ACEs, mentoring can prove to be transformational.
ACEs can have harmful effects. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ACEs are potentially traumatic events experienced during childhood. These could include experiencing or being exposed to violence, abuse, or neglect. ACE’s can lead to mental health problems, substance abuse problems, or family instability. Children can carry the effect of ACEs well into adulthood, which can negatively impact long-term health, education, and job potential.
Mentoring can mitigate the harmful effects of ACEs. “Mentoring Children with Traumatic Experiences,” a January 2023 article in The Chronicle of Evidence-Based Mentoring provides valuable insight into the transformative benefits of mentoring. According to experts, mentoring can lead to higher self-esteem, stronger relational connections, and lower rates of depression. The article also indicates there is a direct relationship between the mentoring timeframe, at least one year, and the impacts on ACEs.
There are five ways to be an effective mentor, according to “Mentoring for Kids: 5 Ways to Be an Effective Mentor,” a March 2021 article in The Chronicle of Evidence-Based Mentoring.
- Lead with hope and optimism.
- Think “with,” not “for.”
- Create safe, judgement-free spaces.
- Be a student, too.
(Read more at The Chronicle of Evidence-Based Mentoring.)
Champions for Children serves every child and every family, from those who just need a little extra help to those who are deeply struggling. Our programs span from helping pregnant woman prepare for childbirth to giving new parents and caregivers confidence, to ensuring children hit key developmental milestones. Champions’ Parents as Teachers supports parents as children’s first teacher. Positive Parenting & Partnership (P3) helps families foster healthy relationships, grow parenting skills, and improve family outcomes for children.
While considering mentoring this month, include Champions for Children in your journey. Visit our programs online to learn more!