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Communicating with Families


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Communicating with Families

  1. 1. Communicating with Families Presented by Extension Educators Debra Schroeder and Mary K. Warner Extension Assistant Leah Miller
  2. 2. <ul><li>Extension professionals will be able to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Strengthen communication skills </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Develop proactive family relations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use “I” messages when communicating with families </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use a variety of techniques to communicate with families </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Evaluate and use social media to communicate with families </li></ul></ul>Objectives
  3. 3. Sharing <ul><li>What techniques do you use to communicate with families? </li></ul><ul><li>What are some the greatest challenges you have? </li></ul>
  4. 4. Open Communication <ul><li>Set up an environment where families feel valued as the primary influence </li></ul><ul><li>Positive self-esteem of family members is important to the development of their children </li></ul><ul><li>Include family members in decision making </li></ul>
  5. 5. Open Communication <ul><li>Regularly exchange information with families </li></ul><ul><li>Greet and visit with families as they come to 4-H events, programs and day camps </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage families to stay for meetings and activities </li></ul><ul><li>Invite families to become involved in helping with </li></ul><ul><li>4-H meetings and events and set up a gradual transition for new families </li></ul>
  6. 6. Examples of Tools You Can Use <ul><li>Websites </li></ul><ul><li>4-H Club constitution and calendar </li></ul><ul><li>Newsletters </li></ul><ul><li>Calling trees </li></ul><ul><li>Email </li></ul><ul><li>Printed meeting agendas </li></ul><ul><li>Job descriptions for volunteers </li></ul><ul><li>Text messages </li></ul><ul><li>Social networking </li></ul>
  7. 7. Building Relationships <ul><li>Show that you really care about each child and family member </li></ul><ul><li>Make personal contact through face-to-face communication </li></ul><ul><li>Treat families as individuals </li></ul><ul><li>Listen and respond carefully </li></ul>
  8. 8. Building Relationships <ul><li>Treat family members with respect and consideration </li></ul><ul><li>Honor family confidentiality (unless it involves child neglect or abuse) </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on family strengths </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage practices that promote family involvement </li></ul>
  9. 9. Understanding Families <ul><li>Important to understand the stress that families experience with 4-H involvement </li></ul><ul><li>What feelings do families and volunteers share? </li></ul><ul><li>Stress is greatest for first time families </li></ul><ul><li>Leaders/volunteers may feel </li></ul><ul><li>jealous of families </li></ul>
  10. 10. Understanding Families <ul><li>Give written policies to families and clarify if needed so that they understand. Some policies need to be signed. </li></ul><ul><li>Say “thank you” often </li></ul><ul><li>Just as you reach out to families, they will reach out to you </li></ul>
  11. 11. “ I” Messages <ul><li>I feel…(explain feelings) </li></ul><ul><li>When you…(explain behavior) </li></ul><ul><li>Because…(explain why) </li></ul><ul><li>Could we…(explain solution) </li></ul>
  12. 12. “ I” Message Responses <ul><li>Compliance </li></ul><ul><li>Resistance </li></ul><ul><li>Emotions </li></ul><ul><li>Needs </li></ul>
  13. 13. Identifying Your Communication Strengths <ul><li>A self-evaluation activity </li></ul><ul><li>Responses are confidential </li></ul><ul><li>First set of responses applies to </li></ul><ul><li>beliefs and second set applies to actions </li></ul><ul><li>Rank each statement as strength, requires growth or does not apply </li></ul><ul><li>Set a goal for yourself </li></ul>
  14. 14. What is Social Media? <ul><li>“ Social media is a shift in how we get our information. It used to be that we would wait for the paper boy to throw our news on the doorstep (or in the flowers) and we’d read the paper, front to back, with our morning coffee before going to work. Now we get information, 24/7 and on the fly, from anywhere. In the more traditional senses, online, on our phones and through the social platforms. Social media allows us to network, to find people with like interests, and to meet people who can become friends or customers. It flattens out the world and gives us access to people we never would have been able to meet otherwise. Gini Dietrich” ~ Arment Dietrich, Inc. </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  15. 15. Social Media Revolution <ul><li>Social Media Revolution </li></ul>
  16. 16. How to Get Followers? <ul><li>Follow others </li></ul><ul><li>Be active on your pages often </li></ul><ul><li>Respond when others comment on your activity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide comments to those you follow </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Repeat yourself </li></ul>
  17. 17. Accept and Prepare for, Negativity <ul><li>There is a fine line in social media regarding negativity. Some organizations are stricter than others when it comes to allowing negative dialogue to occur in their space. Always try to engage the conversation publicly – be responsive, offer help to ease the situation. Trying to control the dialogue through aggressive screening and selective posts is generally not effective or recommended.” - social media GUIDE , National 4-H Council, Spring 2011 </li></ul>
  18. 18. Prepare , Prepare, Prepare <ul><li>“ Ensure that you also have an escalation plan in place should information or conversation on your page illicit an unexpected response. Determine who will have the final say in responding to a crisis on your page.” - social media GUIDE , National 4-H Council, Spring 2011 </li></ul>
  19. 19. Proactive Family Relations <ul><li>Be prepared </li></ul><ul><li>Be clear </li></ul><ul><li>Stay neutral </li></ul><ul><li>Clarify confusing </li></ul><ul><li>statements </li></ul>
  20. 20. Points to Remember <ul><li>Treat families as partners </li></ul><ul><li>Relate to families as individuals with their own attributes and problems </li></ul><ul><li>Listen carefully to what they say about their children and respond with interest </li></ul><ul><li>Help families feel good about their children and therefore about themselves </li></ul>
  21. 21. Points to Remember <ul><li>Discuss positive aspects as well as challenges with families </li></ul><ul><li>When discussing challenges, also bring in positive points about the child </li></ul><ul><li>Attempt to jointly solve the problem </li></ul><ul><li>Families naturally are anxious for their child. Their demands come from a deep concern: that their child be safe, loved and attached to them , as families </li></ul>
  22. 22. <ul><li>Extension is a Division of the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln cooperating with the Counties and the United States Department of Agriculture. </li></ul><ul><li>The 4-H Youth Development program abides with the nondiscrimination policies of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and the United States Department of Agriculture. </li></ul>