Message of the Month
Ed Gamble Cartoon
Article in The Florida Times Union, by Joe Adams, "Mentoring: Let's do this"
Questions/Discussions from the BBBSNEFL Bigs' Round Table
How do I get my Little to open up to me?
Try not to ask yes/no questions.
Have Little look at you when having a conversation.
If you give them the option to choose the next outing and they can't decide, give the child 3 options and have them choose from them.
If their response is always "I don't know," tell them "Well, if you did know, what might it be?" as if you're telling the child that they are smart and they do know.
Group activities are also helpful, especially early in a match relationship. This way, you and your Little will each get to know other matches in our organization.
My Little's phone service is cut off.
Drop by the house and tape a note to the door saying "I'm coming to spend time with you on Saturday at 10am. If you can't make it, please find a phone and let me know."
Get on a schedule. Ex: Every Wednesday at 5pm you see one another, or every other Saturday at 11am.
I leave 10,000 messages and my Little and their parent never call me back. I feel that this is disrespectful, because I am doing my part and they are not doing theirs.
When you do get in touch with the parents, try and give a couple positive comments during the conversation, it may make the parent want to talk to you more. The parent may be used to hearing negative comments about their child from adults.
My Little doesn't appreciate me, they never say "thank you."
Remind them of their manners, they may not be learning their manners at home. You are not their parent, but it's okay to remind them to implement that. If you go out for ice cream together, say "thank you" to the person who hands you ice cream in the ice cream parlor to set an example for your Little.
Tell your Little "Thank you for spending the day with me, I had a great time with you" when they are getting out of the car. They may return the thank you.
The parent is using me as a reward.
You shouldn't have to put yourself in this situation, please call your Match Support Specialist, because they need to remind the parent that this is not how the program is supposed to work.
How do I deal with my Little when he/she asks for things?
Learn to say “No.” Do not feel pressured into spending money, whether it’s on clothes, food, the movies, or city events. You don’t want the child to like you, because you’re spending money on them. Do an activity that costs money every third or fourth outing. In the meantime spend time together at the beach, park, watch a movie on cable, or bake cookies together. Your little will learn to appreciate you and your time together and will not get used to you spending money every time you are out together.
If there are siblings in the home and they are not matched, or their Big is not as involved as I am, when is it appropriate to include them?
It is imperative to have one on one time together to strengthen you and your Little’s relationship and to make them feel important. Perhaps include the sibling(s) on agency activities, but not on personal outings together. During the holiday season, if you give your Little a gift, possibly give one gift to his/her siblings to share. This way you are including them, but not making your Little feel any less important.
Is your Little going on an extended summer break?
- Keep in contact by giving him/her 10 pre-addressed and pre-stamped post cards. This way, both of you can stay caught up with each other over the summer.
- Purchase your Little a craft kit and he/she can make something special for you over the summer.
- Have your Little keep a journal over the summer and on your first outing in the Fall read it together and discuss.