My Little Brother
In previous blog posts I’ve talked about my experience volunteering for Big Brothers Big Sisters. Then I went into what the interview process was like, and the last post I made was about my first meeting with my little. Now I’ll give you a quick summary on how things have gone during the past month.
I took him to a movie, went swimming, played video games, played soccer, and saw a Worcester Tornadoes baseball game. In short we’ve had a lot of fun. I’ve also found that BBBS gets free tickets to a lot of great events of which I gladly take advantage. I had to think about it and I’m pretty sure he has gotten more out of our relationship than I have, but I've certainly benefited a lot from it myself. The benefits to him are pretty obvious so I’m not going to even mention those here, but I’ll go over a few of the benefits to me.
The most obvious benefit to me has been that a lot of the things we’ve done together have been just as fun for me as they have been for him, and you should never discount the importance of having fun. A less obvious benefit is that I’ve relearned a lot about how children’s minds think. It’s scary how much he’s been influenced by advertising for McDonalds and the like. His mind is very pliable towards most things. I can easily convince him that the math he’s learning is school is useful in the real world; however, when I use similar logic describing why McDonald’s food is bad he simply doesn’t accept it. I suppose hearing the message “McDonalds is good” thousands of times a year is going to ingrain that into the subconscious. It’s sad, but I don’t know how to remove that programming from a child’s brain. The best hope I have is to try and make sure the child keeps an open mind and then maybe they’ll choose to question these things as they get older and develop higher levels of thinking.
I would whole heartedly recommend volunteering for Big Brothers Big Sisters. I believed when I started the program that there would be benefits for both sides, but I didn’t fully appreciate who big the benefits would be for me. It’s just a few hours a week and the amount of benefit to both the child and the adult are immense. It has taken my open mindedness and shown it entirely new directions to explore. Seriously you should call BBBS and volunteer today.