As parents, guardians or mentors, we often desire to guide children to healthy and bright futures. In this high tech, social media-focused age, we are competing with so many voices and influences speaking in children’s ears. So, what can we, as parent/guardians or mentors, do to encourage children to seek us for open and honest answers to their important questions?
It may be helpful to know what Clarity’s I Decide For Me program, teaches students to look for in a “Go-To” Adult:
- This person must be age 18 or older.
- This person has the student’s best interest at heart
- The students spends time with this person on a regular basis
- This person is making healthy life choices
As parents, guardians or mentors, applying some of the following practices may encourage youth in your life to identify you as their “Go-To” Adult:
Model healthy choices:
- This would include food and exercise as well as tobacco and alcohol consumption. How our children see us behave, will give us credibility to advise them.
Balance family and work:
- Involve kids in weekly planning
- Sit down for family discussions at least twice a week
- Set aside at least 10 minutes at a time to have a one-to-one conversation with each child
- Have a device-free dinner
Model community involvement:
- Plan family activities to give back to the community
- Participate in community events
- Have children observe you treat others with respect, dignity and kindness
Our society desires a healthy, strong future. Our children are that future, so it is critical that they are not only physically healthy, but mentally healthy as well. Parents, guardians and mentors play an imperative role in this process.
The following websites are great resources for families and parenting:
- CommmonSenseMedia.org (look under “Family Guide” tab)