New 4-H’ers = New Parents

According to Henderson and Berla (1994), “the most accurate predictor of a student’s achievement in school is not income or social status but the extent to which that student’s family  is able to create an environment that supports learning, express high expectations for children’s achievement, and become involved in the children’s school and community.

Sometimes when we focus so clearly on independence, we can forget the very real part parents play in their child’s development through 4-H.  I am currently working on a research project related to senior 4-H’er retention, and can you guess what is the most common reason youth stay in 4-H?  “Because my mom made me!”

At the beginning of the new 4-H year we are very excited about our new members, but what is being done to acclimate and support new 4-H parents?

Check out this link for some ideas:  Parent Involvement in 4-H

My favorite tip- take time to talk with parents!  Reflect on how their 4-H’er is growing through their club work.  It’s a quick, easy step, but something that’s easy to overlook!

…And a bonus tip-  once they are in the door as supportive parents, its easier to move them into a deeper volunteer role later!

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