Do you remember a person from your childhood who you looked up to? An adult who spent time with you, listened to your dreams and encouraged you? Maybe they taught you how to play ball or ride a bike. Likely, it was someone other than your parents, someone you respected, but who did not have an authoritarian, parental role.
Through their friendship with a Big Brother or Big Sister, Littles often discover a whole new world of experiences, opportunity, and potential. Being a Little can transform the life of a child, and have lifelong results. In fact, research has shown that the shared experiences between Bigs and Littles have a direct and lasting impact on young people’s lives.
Bigs and Littles do simple things together-playing sports, seeing movies, cooking, going over schoolwork, visiting museums, washing the car, taking walks, volunteering in their communities, or just hanging out together. It’s the friendship that develops while doing these everyday activities that makes the difference.
Big Brothers Big Sisters works closely with parents and guardians to match every child with the right Big. Every volunteer is screened, trained, and supervised, and professionals in youth development support each match to help ensure that the relationship will be safe and rewarding for everyone involved.
Parents and guardians of Littles are involved every step of the way. Not only will you provide information about your child’s strengths and needs, but you’ll also approve the selection of the Big Brother or Big Sister. Once the match is made, you remain closely involved in many ways, including:
- Approving activities and outings for your child and their Big
- Asking your child questions about those outings, and sharing what you learn with a Match Advisor
- Reporting your child’s progress and milestones to the agency on a regular basis (Yavapai Big Brothers Big Sisters staff will contact you, but we welcome your feedback any time)
- Participating in training on child safety offered by Big Brothers Big Sisters staff, and communicating with your child about the training he or she receives.
- The purpose of a Big is to provide your child with friendship, mentoring and guidance through regular contact. A Big does not attempt to replace a parent. The Big Brothers Big Sisters program does not intend to interfere with your relationship with your child.
Parents often have trouble finding the time and energy to keep up with their child’s many needs. A Big can help by spending one-on-one time with your child. As your child grows up, the influence of as many positive adult role models as possible is beneficial.
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