Volunteering… as a Parent
Being involved in your child’s/children’s lives is perhaps the most important factor in helping to build good solid character and keeping your child safe and healthy.
One way to stay active in your child’s life is to volunteer in activities or at the school your child attends. This may at first seem daunting, but there are several approaches:
- Become active in the school’s PTA/PTO
- Become a homeroom parent or talk to the teacher(s) about specific possibilities
- Take an active role in the Booster Organization for the sports your child is involved with
- Volunteer to be a driver or chaperone on field trips
- Look into activities your child finds interesting and see what volunteer opportunities exist
- Volunteer with a boy or girl scout troop… if none exist join up with another parent and start one!
- Create opportunities: organize an event for your child’s peer group (plan it with your child!) or organize an activity at the school based on your expertise (example: if you are skilled at accounting, you might help the school start a student bank and oversee the project)
- Volunteer as a community speaker or community partner at the school
- Organize your child and some others for a volunteer activity… such as a fun run for an organization as a fundraiser OR a beach cleanup…
- For younger students, volunteer to help with bulletins or bulletin boards
If time is an issue and it’s difficult to volunteer at school during school hours, you could volunteer to make phone calls. This gives you the opportunity to talk with other parents and get to know your child’s “school family”.
The goal isn’t to smother your child, or be involved in everything he or she does but rather to create windows into your child’s life and behavior. If you are at school or with his/her friends with some frequency, you begin to see how you child interacts with peers OR how others treat your child OR you learn which groups of students your child should avoid. These windows will help you find opportunities to discuss certain issues, or ask about certain friends and activities… it creates “teachable moments”.