Do you host parents events at your school? Are you thinking about it? Parents events can be a great way to build community, extend your school counseling program, and provide services for families.
This year, I was trained on the "7 Habits of Highly Successful Families". I think this is spot on for our district. We were searching for something that could help our families, not only with discipline, but with developing their purpose.
This is a great tool to teach families because they get to develop family values and learn how to empathize and listen to one another. This is not a one time "parent night" but a series of parent training's, which they get to take time to understand and practice each new skill. It's really neat to see families come together and work on something so important!
At my current school we have many different parent nights. Our main focus is family participation. Our families don't have a lot of disposable income so we try and keep it as low cost as possible. We had a family game night last year. We play traditional board games. The games include: Trouble, Chutes & Ladders, Candy Land, and Monopoly. The staff will jump in on the games with the families. It is a wonderful time to make connections to parents.
We also have the Pancake Man come each school year. The Pancake Man is very low cost and it includes all you can eat pancakes. The Pancake Man flips pancakes to the families and they catch them on their plate. We also have our MakerSpace set up in the library during this time. Students love to show their parents how to use the Ozobots and Robots. This is a new experience for our parents and our students love to show off what they learn during the school day.
I'm fortunate enough to be able to offer Parenting with Love and Logic courses. I was trained by the Love and Logic Institute in Colorado. Through my training, I worked with 10 Pupil Service staff members in our district to help support additional programming. We've been able to open it up to the parents in my building but also throughout the entire district. In my time in the schools, we have had the amazing opportunity to work with over 300 parents. It is one of my favorite pieces of the programming that I provide! I LOVE it!
To be able to change individuals lives and help them feel more confident as a parent, there is nothing better. Working toward systemic change is a huge part of why I became a counselor.
Read some excellent tips from Mrs Bell The Crafty Counselor on building relationships with parents this year.