Being a positive influence on kids isn’t easy.
As someone who has no kids himself, I’ve learned so much from my neighbors in the past 30 days. They are a great couple who has five children between the ages of 2 and 15 years old.
They’re an incredible family full of love and excitement, and it complements my family to call them our neighbors.
Since there’s so much positive energy around, I have no problem spending time with their kids.
I feel like the big brother, their role model, and I love it. Here are some things I’ve learned that will make you a better influence on children.
Stick to Your Word
When the neighbors first moved in, their youngest, Demari got so excited to see me and was incredibly joyous when I told him we’d go out to play the next day.
Unfortunately, I was busy and I didn’t show up. He was heartbroken, then began lowering his expectations. One day of my absence turned into two, three, four, until I finally committed to going outside with him.
After sticking to my word and coming out around lunchtime when I’m finished working, he lights up like the 4th of July.
All it takes to earn trust with a child is to stick to your word.
They’ll be willing to listen to what you have to say, and look forward to the plans you have for them.
Listen to Them
The kids next door love to talk!
And I openly give them the room they need to get their thoughts out — even if it’s three of them talking at once. Since I’m an extrovert, it’s not very hard for me to focus on multiple conversations at once. I love the attention.
When a child notices that you actually listen to them and acknowledge their thoughts, they feel important.
There’s no use in kid speaking if everything he or she says is disregarded or replied to with a “uh-huh” or “yeah for sure”.
Be active, be present, and listen to children — sometimes their thoughts are incredibly entertaining.
Be Active With Them
One thing I know for sure is that to make kids happy, you’ve got to be an active individual.
Since I run daily and burn off a lot of energy being an extrovert, I have no problem keeping kids entertained.
Some things I do with the kids:
- Play football and throw routes.
- Go longboarding or skateboarding.
- Play tag or hide and seek.
- Go to the park and ride on the swings.
Kids don’t really need too much other than activities to keep them busy. By keeping activities interesting and changing it up every so often, they’re happy.
Nothing beats a child’s happiness.
Children want to be happy and they need positive energy and support to feel that way.
It might be that I’m a young 22-year old with lots of energy that I’m able to be so active with them. Not every parent or guardian will have the energy or time to be as active as I am now.
But the tips I mentioned above don’t have to rely on your age. You can be a positive influence no matter what the circumstance.
The kids won’t ever forget what you did for them.
The relationship you build now will last a lifetime.
- Stick to your word and try not to break promises.
- Listen to the things they say.
- Be active with them when you can.