Who’s On Your Child’s Team?
Who are the adults in your child's life? Take a moment to think of all the adults they interact with on a regular basis.
Who did you list? A coach, an after school teacher, their classroom teacher(s), aunts, uncles, grandparents, librarians, the friendly checker at the grocery store that always says hello? (I hope you and I made the list as well!)
All of these adults have an impact, no matter how small. They model behaviors and values that show your child the different ways we can show up in the world. Building an intentional team of adults that regularly interact with your child can be hugely beneficial.
Other adults are often a neutral, objective presence in a child’s life. They can bring an outside perspective to a child’s challenges and be another person with whom they can celebrate successes. Sometimes, children find these other adults on their own. But you can also introduce them to other adults and help them foster relationships with people you trust, like close friends of yours, neighbors, faith community members, or therapists. For students in middle or high school, you might consider connecting them with someone who works in a field they're interested in who would be willing to be shadowed or become a mentor.
Think about people who have a diversity of backgrounds and could give your child new perspectives on life. Choose individuals who will encourage your child and show him or her empathy and compassion. Also think about people who would have extended time to spend with your child so a real connection can form. Consider finding several adults that could create a team of three or four.
When you are thinking about building a team, ask yourself what you’d like for your child. I'd recommend that at least some of the people are not necessarily tied to school. It's nice to have a break from academics once in a while. The most important piece is that these adults are there to encourage and build up your child when they are struggling, and recognize their successes as well.
However you go about it, relationships with adults will greatly enhance your child’s life.