Three ways to be a good mentor to your child
By Kristelle Bechayda
Part of our job in raising our kids is to give them the proper guidance, not just in their education but also in how they interact with the world. In line with the International Mentoring Day last January 17, Moms and Babies interviews Didi Manahan, who is an advocate of research-based and child responsive educational experiences in the country, on the effective way in mentoring children. Here are three ways, as shared by Manahan:
Listen, identify, and coach.
When you see another person’s perspective, you’re a real mentor because real mentorship actually begins with the action of listening. Listening is not just hearing the words but trying to speculate what the intentions or feelings are of the person they are mentoring.
Another important facet of mentoring is also being able to identify or help the child elaborate or discover why they are going through with those feelings. Only a mentor who is able to listen carefully and maybe who has had experience with a similar situation will be able to say a child feels like staying at home because he doesn’t feel safe in school. So you help the child make sense of the feelings he is going through.
The mentor’s role is to also coach. The coach is very realistic and will say when there is a choice or no choice for the student or the child. Let’s say there is no choice: School is a no-choice situation, and so the mentor will say “Unfortunately, going to school is one of those things we really don’t have a choice unless you’re ill. But what you can have a choice about is how we can brainstorm on how to make going to school a little easier for you.”
Learn and adapt to new methods.
As a professional, I was always involved in progressive education. Way back when my partners and I set up a progressive preschool, there was an openness to progressive pre-schooling because of all the research on development and how to enhance it. We try to pioneer, because we believe strongly in the principles of progressive education: Education should focus towards the individual areas of strength and weakness; Education has to be significant and if it’s not significant, kids will not want to learn to all; and education is for changing society.
So my partners and I highly advocate that and know that can’t be achieved in preschool level. It has to be extended throughout the child’s whole school experience, from primary all the way up until secondary.
Provide a good learning environment.
The best (learning) environment is where you are unconditionally loved because the person who loves you sees your potential even if it is not apparent. That person will go out of his way to be able to draw it out and make you a better person. He also tolerates all your shortcomings and feels compelled to help you in overcoming those.