What You Can Do to Encourage the Children in Your Life
by Chaplain Dan Langerock
Whether you are a parent, grandparent or a neighbor to a child, there are several ways you can impact their lives in a good manner for the future.
It costs nothing but time to listen to a child or anyone in your life. Look around you and see how few real listeners there are. This was one of the hardest lessons for me to learn as a chaplain, because life is geared so often toward gaining others' attention by talking rather than being a listener. Train yourself to listen to the children around you as well as others and see how your life will change for the better as well as theirs.
Were you encouraged as a child? Some people have the attitude, "My parents didn't do that for me so I won't do it for others!" By so thinking, you are perpetuating the mistakes your parents or others in your life made. You are passing them down to your children and grandchildren, etc., by having this attitude.
Maybe the child in your life is struggling trying to master something at school: an instrument, math, reading or whatever. With the parents' permission, you can make a difference in that child's life by helping them in whatever area is needed. You may have a different way of explaining the ideas that will click to help them master their difficult subject. If you once played an instrument, you may be able to help get them started on a certain instrument that will carry through the rest of their life.
At the local library there is a literacy program that helps people with math or reading. For a very little cost, your child can get help in these areas from free tutors, usually once a week, but perhaps more if needed. Maybe you would enjoy doing this for your own child as well as others. The training is not hard and it will help to enrich your life. You don't have to be a genius to help someone. Basically, a third of the population in America are volunteers. Have you considered this for your life? My wife Cathie and I enjoy doing this also where we volunteer.
Share Stories From Your Past
Before there was written history, stories were passed down from one person to another. They can be humorous, real-life, embarrassing moments, Christmas and Thanksgiving memories or whatever you care to share with the child in your life. Get them thinking about stories in their lives they can tell like the first Christmas they remember or whatever. Another benefit is that you may inspire your child to become a writer because of the stories you tell.
Use the gifts you have in your possession to help the children in your life. Listening, encouragement, and stories from your experiences--these are all gifts that only you have a unique set of. No one else has the same set of memories that you do, so use them to benefit yourself and others. Maybe what you went through is not interesting to you, but it probably will be to others if you present it interestingly. Use inflection in your voice and vary the tone as you tell your stories. You can use a tape recorder to practice if you like.
Think about how you would like someone to take an interest in you, and transfer that thought to the children in your life. You and they will be the richer for sharing and listening to each other, building bridges instead of burning them.
Chaplain Dan welcomes questions from our readers about any subjects that concern them. He will answer them as to appropriateness etc. Thanks for your participation. Send questions to: Chaplain Dan Langerock, 1400 E. Menlo, #22, Hemet, Ca. 92544
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