The United States is turning a new leaf in its history, as more children and teens are left to raise themselves because of families ripped apart because of divorce, finances, teen pregnancy, and the stresses of parent’s holding multiple jobs.
Whether you are a retiree, a college student, a busy parent, a business owner, or a blue collar worker, you know a teen or child who needs someone to guide them and help them make right choices in life. Inner city children, children in single parent households, and children living in poverty all are at high risk of repeating the life cycle of poverty.
You may not have a lot of free time or resources at your disposal, but these simple actions can positively change a young child or teen forever.
1) Read a book to a child regularly.
The longing to read starts young, and studies have shown that regularly reading to children will encourage children to want to read. Take the time to teach a child to read. A large percentage of inmates and the unemployed never learned how to read and write, making them unemployable and susceptible to crime.
2) Employ a teen.
Whether its $10 for shoveling snow or a part time job at your business, teen employment teaches a teen about responsibility, earning money, the important of a good work ethic, and reduces the amount of free time they have to get into trouble.
3) Invite other children to your family outings.
Maybe you have noticed that your son’s best teen friend often goes home to an empty house. Offer to include him in your next family outing, with the permission of his parent. You can even open your home up regularly for dinner on nights that his parent is working late. My own husband was practically adopted by a friend’s family, and the positive influence helped him make the right decisions in life.
4) Give a short teen workshop on money management to teens.
If you are financially successful, giving a teen workshop on money manager at your local community center or church will make a larger life-changing impact than a Christmas toy donation. You can arrange the meeting locally, and teach teens about savings accounts, having a strong work ethic, proper use of credit, etc.
5) Volunteer for career day at a local school.
Sometimes all a child needs is a role model that shows them that any career path is possible. Many teens believe that they will be the next NBA or NFL star athlete, but do not realize that the chances of success are slim. Instead, they need professionals in their community to talk to them about how to become successful at other professions, like teaching, medicine, sales, law, technology, business, and a host of other jobs.
6) Mentor and tutor a teen.
Teens need to know the importance of keeping their grades up in school, having integrity, having faith and hope, going to college, and learning the rites of passage necessary for a successful adulthood. Many teens have already fallen into the pits of drug dependancy, gangs, sexual promiscuity, theft, or even violence. Take the time to make a difference in a struggling teen’s life. You may be the only positive role model left.
7) Be a guardian angel.
Maybe you are a shut-in, busy with five children of your own, work 60 hours a week, or have an illness that prevents you from mentoring a child. Random acts of kindness may be the only way that you can make a difference in someone’s life. You can make dinner for the struggling single parent next door, offer to have the neighborhood children over for dinner once a month, donate a much-needed item to a needy family, or volunteer an hour a week for tutoring.
In an ideal universe, both mother and father would be able to raise up their child to become a productive citizen. With the country’s finances in ruin, unemployment on the rise, and more families finding themselves homeless and in poverty, the lost generation of teens and children is growing larger. Make a difference in a child or teen ‘s life today, and change one life for the better.
Labels: 7 Simple Ways to Help At-Risk Children and Teens