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Parents as partners


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Hi Folks I am trying to encourage parents to come into the setting and join in with our activities. These include meals out, stay and play sessions, some gatherings with children and others without.

Do you have any suggestions for reaching those parents who don't engage. I have some (a few) parents who join in with everything but others just don't want to know. What kind of activities have you set up or training that has worked well. I am going to send out a questionnaire but all help gratefully received. Thanks x

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Hmmmm good luck with that currycraver. Despite being a small village community our Parents tend to be of the 'dump and run' variety!

We put out a letter asking Parents to sign up to PiPa (Parents in Partnership associates) to a) offer suggestions in how we can improve our service. b) organise Mums n Dads socials or coffee mornings and c) Fundraise???.........well Mrs O ...we did try.....

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Have you got a parent representative, It has worked for us in the past - sometimes these outings need to come from the parents - so she used to organise a mums night out etc., and from that other things began to grow. It's not for everyone, my DIL rarely gets involved in nights out it just leaves her cold -. It also helps when you have a core who already know each other and are already social, they can bring others in, but equally can put others off if they appear to cliquey. Absolute mine field frankly, as has already been said you can but try!!

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Must admit to struggling with this as well. I would say enjoy the fact that you do actually have some parents that do engage - you are obviously doing something well!!! We even struggle to get committee members - even if they dont make it to committee meetings - but that is a whole different topic.

 

It is difficult because you could argue that if they are showing interest in their own child's development, wellbeing, support fundraising activities etc why should they be expected to engage with other parents that they perhaps have nothing else in common with??? They maybe work and as far as they are concerned, are paying for a service to look after their child and not wanting to expand their social life??? (Wearing devil's advocate hat!)

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It is difficult because you could argue that if they are showing interest in their own child's development, wellbeing, support fundraising activities etc why should they be expected to engage with other parents that they perhaps have nothing else in common with??? They maybe work and as far as they are concerned, are paying for a service to look after their child and not wanting to expand their social life??? (Wearing devil's advocate hat!)

 

When my boys were in playgroup and nursery I needed every minute of that time to keep myself sane. Use a vacuum cleaner without the screaming or shop without chasing. Sometimes I even got a bath!! And heaven knows I had to scrape up the fees from the housekeeping as I wasn't earning so that time was super precious.

 

Parents need a break so that they can relate to their children in the other 21 hours a day.

 

Supping with the Devil's advocate,

 

Honey

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Not all parents will want to join in.. I hated it.. and avoided it all as much as I could.. nothing worse than being in a group who I had no common interest or having to chat to people I really did not like.. about things I did not agree with but did lip service to keep the peace..

 

Joining in with the children I felt like I was being judged by the staff.. I know they were not doing so, but it did make me feel uneasy.

I really did need the time to do all those things that the few hours without a helper were so much easier. Evenings are also not easy for many, I would have needed childcare to go out, or was working myself evenings while hubby took over at home..

 

I always felt so long as I helped provide the opportunities, giving a chance to join in if they wanted to then it was all I could do..

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Yes it's a struggle and well done in getting a few parents into your setting that's amazing! If they can't or don't have time/want to come to your setting why not send questionnaires home, or suggestions sheets that they can complete and return to show their input that way. A parent suggestion box, or WOW sheets for parents to complete etc etc

 

Maybe they could do an activity at home with their child and provide evidence of that, like homework sheets or something they did in nursery that day they could expand at home?

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Hmmmm good luck with that currycraver. Despite being a small village community our Parents tend to be of the 'dump and run' variety!

We put out a letter asking Parents to sign up to PiPa (Parents in Partnership associates) to a) offer suggestions in how we can improve our service. B) organise Mums n Dads socials or coffee mornings and c) Fundraise???.........well Mrs O ...we did try.....

Thanks Rafa,

I have done just that to see what I am missing and what parents would like from us.... We do try Mrs O !!!

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Have you got a parent representative, It has worked for us in the past - sometimes these outings need to come from the parents - so she used to organise a mums night out etc., and from that other things began to grow. It's not for everyone, my DIL rarely gets involved in nights out it just leaves her cold -. It also helps when you have a core who already know each other and are already social, they can bring others in, but equally can put others off if they appear to cliquey. Absolute mine field frankly, as has already been said you can but try!!

Hi Panders,

Yes we do have a parent rep, as I agree it is so much better as I feel it doesn't put pressure on parents but at the moment she is on her own. Will persevere

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I have probably not thought about this in a balanced way. To all of you who have highlighted what the parents may be feeling, thank you! You have made me think more laterally than I was. Hoping that by sending out the questionnaire I can see what sorts of interests and challenges the parents have.

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