It sounds like a lot of work, doesn’t it? You’re a busy kid. You have your own life. It’s already filled with school, friends, and extracurricular activities. You’re already forced to spend enough time with your younger sibling. Now we’re telling you that you have to teach your younger brother or sister stuff too?!? We know what you’re thinking: aren’t teachers, parents, and coaches supposed to be doing those things?
Well, yes. You’re 100% correct. They are, and they do. If you think that your little brother or sister don’t need you, however, you’d be wrong.
Because you have something all those other people don’t have. The ability to relate. We don’t want to say that your teachers and parents are old…but, they’re older than you, right? Maybe some of this stuff was a long time ago for them, and you remember what it was like because it isn’t ancient history to you. It could be that things have changed since they were that age, or maybe you just know a better way. Parents are parents. They are going to come at things from a parent’s perspective, and that may not work in every scenario. Teachers are teachers, and they’re going to work from the instructor angle, which may put some kids off. But you—you get to be both an older brother or sister, AND a friend. But not just any friend; your brother or sister already has some of those. You get to be the cool friend, just because you’re older. You’re the cool friend who knows stuff and can do really awesome big kid things. Things your younger brother or sister probably desperately wants to do as well. Who better to show them how than you?
Being a mentor doesn’t just help your little brother or sister. It helps you, too. First of all, it will help you bond with your younger siblings. It may seem like you have absolutely nothing in common with him or her, especially if there is a big age difference. However, if you actually make it a point to spend time with them, you may find out you were wrong. You may even make a new friend! Another benefit to helping someone else is that it will make you feel good. It elevates your mood and helps your self-esteem, too. Believe it or not, mentoring your younger siblings may actually improve your relationship with your parents, too. When Mom or Dad see you taking the time out to mentor a younger sibling, they’ll really appreciate it. We’re not saying that mentoring is enough to get you out of trouble or anything, but it is worth a try, right?
So give it a try and see what happens. We hope you’ll find it to be rewarding and fun, and willing to do it again!