Children of all ages are incredibly impressionable and vulnerable. Given these factors, in the wrong environment, a child can start out early down a less-than-desirable path. You can make a difference in the life of a child. As a juvenile volunteer, you can connect with a child that may be at risk and be a mentor. For a child in a volatile situation, your listening ear could mean a world of difference. Learn how your time can change the life of a child.
Children learn by example. However, many at-risk youth don't have an example to look at. As a juvenile mentor, you can be a positive example in the child's life. Even a small amount of interaction with an adult that is on a positive course of direction in their life can be a refresher to children who only see adults making poor and dangerous decisions on a regular basis. Your everyday behaviors can mean a lot to an impressionable child.
When a child is exposed to constant negativity, they have a tendency to put a ceiling on their success. If you grow up in an environment full of failure, it's easy to assume that the same outcome awaits you. As a mentor, you show a child another part of your life that helps them recognize their own potential. Whether it's going to college or choosing a competitive career, children with positive reinforcement can see the potential for their own success better.
Confidence is not an automatic behavior. Confidence is a learned behavior that is improved with interaction. For a child with a limited support system, confidence is often a struggle. However, there is something compelling about knowing that there is someone out there that cares. When a child knows someone cares about their wellbeing, they start to learn their value. Knowing your worth is a precursor to confidence.
Since children are impressionable, it's easy for them to sometimes get lured into activities that may not be rewarding or safe. However, an impressionable child without a support system might be at even a higher risk of making a wrong decision. As a youth volunteer, you create a support system for the child. If they feel peer pressure to make a bad decision, they can look to you for support and encouragement to help avoid the situation.
Be the positive light in a child's life. Research child public affair charities to find out how you can become a juvenile volunteer in your local area.