I became a Big Brother eight years ago, not by design but by circumstance. My interest in mentoring a younger person developed as my own children became more independent and the nest began to empty. My plan was to be a Big Brother once my life slowed down, which likely would be at retirement. My life has not slowed down as of yet, but I have a Little Brother and wouldn’t have it any other way.
My Little Brother is no longer little. He is now twenty-one years old and over six foot four. We remain close friends and visit regularly. It is wonderful to observe how positively his life is unfolding as a young man.
When I met him, he was just entering his teens. This is a critical time in any child’s development. If you are willing to provide a little of your free time, a positive influence, and a caring, listening ear, you can greatly assist in a young person’s successful entry into adulthood. It is sad that there is a small chance of a Little over the age of twelve being paired up with a Big. If only everyone knew the joys of befriending a young adult. There aren’t many experiences in life where you receive more than you put in. Spending time with someone who is eager to learn from you, and who enjoys and values your company, provides such an experience.
To be an effective Big Brother, you do not need to fill your time together with exciting activities. But you must be reliable and be prepared to share the wisdom you have gained through life experience. The other key requirement is to listen without being judgmental and give advice in a manner that does not intimidate but provides an alternative approach.
Whether you decide a younger or older Little is best for you, I am sure you will not regret it. Spending time with young people helps to keep you young and current in your thinking.
If you have been considering becoming a Big Brother or Big Sister but are waiting for the right time, contact Big Brothers Big Sisters and see how you can make a difference. Please don’t think about it too long; there’s a long list of eager young people waiting for someone like you to enter their lives.
Thursday, October 3, 2013
The Big Brother Experience
Posted by Unknown at 11:09 AM