Why are these parent discussions important?
When your children were toddlers, it was probably quite common to have many conversations with other parents, (sometimes even people you just met at the playground or in a playgroup) about different issues. Now that your children are getting older, it may be a little more difficult to find those times to just “get together” with other parents to discuss issues such as bedtimes, homework, responsibilities around the house, social media, (Facebook, MySpace, etc.) and other common interests.
Why were these discussions created?
Parent Chats were created to provide parents with a comfortable opportunity to communicate openly with each other about issues listed above and what other parents are doing with their children. Each discussion is meant to be small with a relaxed atmosphere, held in the parent host’s home or a similarly comfortable community location (for example, a local coffee shop, a meeting room in the public library, or a community center). The format for the discussions was specifically designed to be “low-key” and “lightly- facilitated”. This is NOT a parenting program with a curriculum. The meeting is not necessarily intended to start a regular meeting of parents but it may evolve into that depending on the group’s desires.
What are the goals of these discussions?
Our hope is that participating parents will:
- Connect with other parents
- Learn new information about current issues facing “tweens” and “teens”
- Share challenges and joys of raising children
- Get practical tips to use at home and share with other parents
Who can volunteer to host a discussion?
Any local parent can be a potential host.
What does a parent host do?
The parent host is the person who offers their home, or another community space as the location for the discussion and invites other parents. Each host will be matched with a member of the Upper Bucks Healthy Communities Healthy Youth Coalition (UBHCHY) Steering Committee who will assist the host throughout the discussion. The UBHCHY member will be responsible for setting the tone of the discussion and for keeping the conversation moving along. The parent host is responsible for sending out invitations and reminders—basically, making sure that people will come. Invited guests should be local parents who the host knows well, or is acquainted with in some way. After the discussion, the parent host may want to write thank you notes to participants.
Are there any special benefits to being a host?
We recognize that opening up your home for a meeting place is a very generous act. As a thank you for hosting, you would receive the following incentives:
- $25 gift certificate to buy food and beverages for the discussion. We’ll even do the shopping for you and food set up, if you prefer.
- We will be raffling away gift certificates to a local business. Any host whose discussion has more than 5 parent attendees will be entered into the raffle that will be drawn on June 30, 2011.
- Parent hosts will also be entered into the raffle once for each participant at their discussion who signs up to host a discussion themselves.
- The food and beverages served at a Parent Chat should be of light fare and leaning more towards a healthy snack than a meal. Parent Chats are intended to be alcohol and smoke free events.
- We recommend that youth not be present at these discussions in order to ensure an atmosphere where parents can talk openly about parenting. We understand that hosting an event at home while keeping the children out of the room may pose a challenge. Hosts and facilitators are encouraged to work together to come up with creative solutions—for example, you might decide to recruit a parent or community volunteer to engage youth in a fun activity elsewhere.
For more information or to volunteer to host a discussion, please contact: