Friday, August 07, 2009

Mentoring: the old hanging out with the young

I was at a meeting and the talk was about a church summer camp and the kids that attended. One elderly gentlemen described a little girl who was very keen to be in the kitchen with him-he is a baker and they were baking cookies.
"She stayed by my side the entire day," he exclaimed. "It was a wonderful day. A great day!"
After a thoughtful pause he said, "well-she ought to have been playing with her peers, getting along with them."
"Why?" I asked. "She was happy hanging with you-you had a great day. What is so wrong about that?"
"It was the best of days," he said reluctantly. For some reason he couldn't reconcile with himself that it was a natural and wonderful thing for the little girl to prefer his company to the company of her peers.
"She must have learned so much from you," I told him encouragingly.
"It's true," he acknowledged in amazement. Companionship,friendship,baking skills,a job well done!
This is the kind of scenario that we need more of. Kids need peers but they need the company of caring,knowledgeable elders maybe even more. She was happy to do a real-life, meaningful and USEFUL activity rather than the contrived 'craft' that had been prepared for them. Self-directed kid? I think so.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That's very beautiful - the prejudices we learn, that peers are where we ought to be all the time - I remember as a child wanting to be older so I could be around more responsible adults, but even aging is no guarantee of maturity, I find...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...