Mommy Articles/Links

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Are You Your Child's Mentor/Role Model?

First Lady Michelle Obama greets Wim Kooyker, chairman of MENTOR, and Deneen Borner, a mentee at Polished Pebbles Girls Mentoring Program, during a National Mentoring Summit at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. January 25, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)

By now everyone in my life knows that I am a huge fan of First Lady Michelle Obama. Being a relatively new mother of a 5 year old princess and a 2.5 year old prince, her platforms are very timely. I am constantly on the search to find new recipes filled with vegetables and fruits. Just the other day, I put a new twist on my spaghetti recipe complete by using turkey meat, whole grain pasta with pureed broccoli. The kids, and husband, killed it. My son said he didn't like it but he's been a finicky eater lately so I just fed it to him and he ate it. No one, including my husband, could tell the difference. I love hearing about how she raised her girl by reading various books on her. I love how she has created a mentoring program and pairs women in the White House with at risk girls in the community.

I want to be my daughter's #1 role model. I want my husband to be my son's #1 role model. When asked who they most admire, I want them to mention the name of someone they can actually call. Someone who will meet them for lunch to hear about their dreams, issues, and to give encouragement. Their mother, father, aunts, grandparents, family friends, and neighbors are accessible. Celebrities are not. During her keynote address to the National Summitt on Mentoring, First Lady Michelle Obama says, "Kids don't need you to be Superman. They just need you to be there. They need you to be someone you can count on." When was the last time your child had lunch with Kobe Bryant, Barbara Walters, or Oprah?

My daughter is now at the age where she is becoming aware of the things around her and has alot of questions. I want to be honest with her but I am also not ready for her to be exposed to EVERYthing she sees on TV. She is trying to move away from Nick Jr. and onto Nick. My little girl is growing up. I also want to expose her to community service and want her to volunteer with me at a local food bank. Unfortunately kids have to be at least 13 years old so I'll have to find somewhere else to take her. Honestly, I think they should lower the age requirement because kids aren't as interested in helping out when they enter their teens. Hopefully I am wrong but i think the earlier you expose them to community service the more it becomes a natural part of their lives.

Now that my children are older, I can start contributing more to my community by creating social programs for the young ladies in my community. I had an awesome team who helped realize a dream of mine back in Michigan by awarding preteens and teens talented in the performing arts and academics scholarships. I am ready to get back to work and am pushing full steam ahead. I will be my children's mentor and role model. I encourage you to be the same.

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