I’m a new Family Life Commissioner!
Not only does family life has the greatest impact on the lives of children, but strong families contribute to strong communities. The mission statement for the Family Life Commission is ‘to strengthen the home and improve the quality of life for all Utah children’. This may sound like an overwhelming goal but many small steps can have a big impact.
Studies have shown that effective parents accomplish three tasks:
1) Bond with their children. They communicate love and respect. They have fun together. Children feel secure.
2) Teach and guide their children. They set clear and consistent rules or boundaries. They show interest in their children’s intellectual, physical, emotional and spiritual development.
3) Stay involved in the lives of their children. Many parents pull back when their children reach adolescence. This is when parental monitoring and involvement are essential. Plan now to provide activities that will help parents with these tasks. Here are 5 steps to help you work your plan.
Step one: Check out the resources available at the Utah PTA Family Life Commissioner page found on this website and in the handbook. There you will find areas of focus for the Family Life Commission, national and state PTA programs that you can adopt or link to yourown activities, short articles that can be used in your PTA newsletters to promote effective parenting, and links to partnering organizations with additional resources for your activities.
Step two: Sign up for The PTA Parent Newsletter at http://www.pta.org/. This email newsletter from National PTA will give you additional program helps and parenting tips for your own newsletter, along with material under Parent Resources on pta.org.
Step three: Determine local needs and resources. If a needs assessment was done, decide how Family Life Commission activities can meet these needs. Help establish the budget for the work of your commission.
Step four: Calendar your activities. See below a few of the PTA events that you can link to your activities. Coordinate with other PTA officers; some events involve Safety, Health, or other commissions as well as Family Life. Dovetail activities to accomplish more than one commissions objectives. Pace yourself. If one month includes a big activity that will require a lot of volunteer time and preparation, schedule an easier event the next.
Having a Family Life “Parenting Tip” in each of your newsletters will help to keep the goals and activities of your commission “on the front burner.”
Step five: Recruit volunteers from diverse neighborhoods to build excitement for the activities you plan. Consider using the “Three for Me” program (http://www.pta.org/three_for_me.asp) to encourage parental involvement. Communicate the vision of what these activities could accomplish and delegate the legwork. Be sure to express appreciation for their help!
The work you do as Family Life Commissioner can help parents become more effective. What greater service can PTA give? Best wishes for great new PTA year!
Some dates you might want to incorporate into your activities in the coming year:
September : Turn Off the TV Week—http://www.tvturnoff.org/
September : Family Day – A Day to Eat Dinner with your Children — www.casafamilyday.org and www.parentsempowered.org under resources and then downloadable. You could also do this activity in Nov. for National Family Week.
November : National Family Week—http://www.nationalfamilyweek.org/
February: Apply for a Grant for this activity from National PTA. Take Your Family to School Week this is also a good time to include White Ribbon Week activities. See www.womenfordecency.org look for White Ribbon Week Resources.
April : Child Abuse Prevention Month, including bullying prevention, internet safety, etc.
http://www.preventchildabuseutah.org/ April Turn off TV Week.