Archive for March 14th, 2007

BBYO Parents

Wednesday, March 14th, 2007

Don’t get me started….

Over the years I’ve seen all kinds of BBYO parents, from the very good to… oh well. A recent comment by Samantha, the advisor for Shore BBG, inspired me to visit this topic.

Like Samantha, I am astonished by the level of disengagement of many parents. Many really don’t seem to have a clue as to what their sons and daughters are doing or are going through. What’s funny is that this can express itself two different ways. Some parents see BBYO as a baby-sitting service. They pay little or no attention to events, and barely seem to care when their kid gets home. Other parents constantly complain about what’s going on to the advisor or staff – anything to avoid actually talking to their son or daughter! Amazing!

Curiously enough, the latter group is the easiest to deal with. When a parent comes to me with a chapter issue, the first thing I do is bring the appropriate chapter members into the conversation. It’s good practice for them to engage directly with parents – there is no better way for them to understand their responsibility to the parents and community. And it’s good for the parents in that it helps them see the chapter as youth led. I remember one time a parent came up to me at a PIT to complain about something he found in the chapter paper. I called over the Aleph Sopher responsible for the paper so they could discuss it. Turned out the Sopher was his own son! Now that’s engagement!

I could whine about awful parents all day. But I’d rather tell you about the good ones. Here are some observations I’ve made about parents.