Friday, October 24, 2008

Creating a Parent Dialogue

Last Wednesday, we had our first "Parent Dialogue."

Why did we call it that?

We decided we don't like using the term, "meeting." Meetings imply that one person is in charge and talking *to* some people.

We want and encourage two-way conversation...and we want that to include parents.

We started off the conversation with, What do you want for your children?

As you might expect, the parents of our After-School Academy children are no different than anyone else. Top on their list was...

  • Education
  • Study habits
  • homework help
  • quality education
  • Life skills--such as learning how to pay bills, cook, clean, use a checkbook
  • structure
  • good self-esteem and being comfortable with themselves
  • college and/or trade school
  • work skills
  • health care--dental, medical
  • being successful
  • good morals
  • respect for people
  • independence
  • having the Lord in their life

As we talked, parents expressed a desire to be more involved with things that could teach them how to help their child with them to become a better them to know the best strategies to work with their child.

A frustration that seemed common amongst all of the parents was that they didn't feel like the school communicated with them. They didn't like being excluded from their child's life.

So, we are working to figure out ways that we can all work together, form relationships, and make some of these things happen....recognizing that parents and the children should be the focus of our efforts.