• Welcome Guest to the new look forum. For more information refer to this thread

Weekly Discussion: “Training” parents

badgemad4

Veteran (100+ posts)
#1
You’ll always have some parents who are a dream. They preemptively warn you Flossie now has a latex allergy, return forms on time and how you asked, and let you know she’ll be late next week because of the dentist. Other parents apparently didn’t realise that forms existed and ask you the same questions each week. What’s even worse is when the whole parent group seems to be in the second group (although on the whole most parents fall somewhere in between). When parents don’t respond to anything, or a previous leader didn’t quite do things “by the book” and you’re trying to turn that around it can be very trying. It’s one of the things that can put us off volunteering.

What are your tips for “training” your parents into good habits to make unit life better and more efficient?
 

badgemad4

Veteran (100+ posts)
#2
We’re reasonably lucky with our current parent group, we have a couple of fantastic parents and the ones who do tend to always be asking the same questions or otherwise clearly stated information are ones who are very clearly otherwise stressed/it’s something I’d rather they did triple check.

The advise I was given before basically boiled down to be consistent and have an information sheet. So we always do communication in the same way, have the same cut off point for subs payment etc. We also email out once a term our information sheet which covers things like how to pay subs, meeting times, how to get badges and our attendance policy. Hopefully it saves a few questions and it means we can refer back to it if needed.
 

Quack

Veteran (100+ posts)
Staff member
GuiderPlus
Moderator
#3
I think consistency is the key, so ensure forms are put out in good time, though not so early that they will be lost. Ensure events with a cost are notified early so parents can plan which the girls can attend or not if things are getting tight. If you can offer payment by instalment for summer camp say so, we need a non-fundable deposit by X, camp fees by Y and travel by Z.

We now have a facebook group and reminders are passed out there that this form and deposit needs to be in tonight or remember we are meeting at the park etc. It has improved.

Likewise if forms are late, be consistent with the approach, you can't let Flossie go if Lizzie missed out ..
 

turnip

Veteran (100+ posts)
#4
I think a lot of it is down to luck. I currenty have a brilliant batch of Guides who have equally brilliant parents. A couple of years ago (same unit and same leaders), a group of less engaged Guides and much less engaged parents.

Having mobile numbers and email addresses for all parents really helps. I give out forms at Guides but I also send them by email to parents. When we're going out and about, I'll text the parents a reminder in the morning. If you're only giving out everything on paper it easily gets lost.
 

JJJJ1980

Brownie Leader x 3
#6
i find the more I can involve parents the more appreciative they are about the work that is involved and therefore better at returning forms etc. It is not fool proof but my unit where we try to have an event where families are invited to join us a couple of times a year is much easier to administer than my others where it is not at common (and is the biggest!). We also have a closed facebook group that allows me to issue reminders and ask for help.
 

Quack

Veteran (100+ posts)
Staff member
GuiderPlus
Moderator
#7
Just a little aside to make you all smile...I was watching the 2 man bobsleigh and the commentator mentioned that one of the Canadian competitors had his family there, his wife and his daughter Flossie! I've never actually heard anyone have that name before in real life, just in Guiding.:)
I wonder what her leaders call the perenial guide ...Sarah Jane, Ellie, Erin ...Flootipuss...

Sent from my SGP712 using Tapatalk