Sunday Snippet: Partnering with Parents!
As parents and as youth development professionals, we are actively involved in our children’s school in order to share what we have to offer and to maintain a connection to those teachers and administrators who have a significant impact in our children’s lives. Yet we are careful not to hover too closely (helicopter parenting) or act only for the exclusive benefit of our two daughters (snow-plow parenting) – we truly want to build a positive and supportive partnership with our children’s school community.
However, building a true partnership requires consistent effort. Camps such as WeHaKee have been highly successful in creating partnering relationships with the parents of their campers. They recognize that initially a sense of trust must be established – a trust to know that the other partner is qualified to engage in the partnership and has the best interests in mind for themselves as well as the other party. WeHaKee views each parent of their child as the expert resource for that child, even when faced with parenting approaches that may not align with one’s own! Regardless, the parent knows tht child better than anyone else and can provide invaluable insight when working to help the child adjust and succeed.
Entrusting their child to the organization is a huge step in developing this partnering relationship, but should not simply be a leap of uninformed faith. WeHaKee provides a plethora of information on its website to help parents gain an accurate feel and impression of the WeHaKee experience. The directors make themselves available to answer individual questions about safety, program, social concerns, abilities, and so on that parents have. They know that no question is silly or trivial when it comes to the experience their daughter will have at WeHaKee. Ultimately, it is about ensuring WeHaKee is a good fit for the girl empowering her to have a safe, successful and fun experience at camp!
Once a parent has a sense that WeHaKee will be a welcoming and empowering community for their daughter, the mutual partnership begins to blossom even further. Continued communication is provided to help guide the parent as they prepare their daughter for her camp experience. And WeHaKee remains ready to answer the flow of questions that emerge during that preparation period.
And when the child arrives at WeHaKee, the partnership continues to strengthen. Through blog and photo posts, parents are able to gain a sense of the tone of the session – what the weather is like, specifics about camper activities and events and so on. If a camper has a challenge adjusting to camp life, WeHaKee staff are quick to utilize the partnership to connect with the parent, seeking strategies and guidance in helping the girl move forward. And although, campers and parents do not have direct lines of communication via phone or email, the directors always welcome parent calls to alleviate any concerns they may have during their child’s stay at WeHaKee.
WeHaKee values this equal partnership as it is an essential part of a successful WeHaKee experience as we work together to help each child grow in significant and critical ways. Thanks for joing us today and have a wonderful week!