If you want more dads and grandpas involved this February, get them “locked and loaded” in the fall! Do these four things as soon as possible to involve more dads and grandpas:
TIP # 1: Raise the Bar at “Intake”
Tell your new dads that you “expect” their active participation this year. Make it seem normal that they *will* be involved. Ask them to SIGN UP for specific volunteer days/times.
TIP # 2: Give Them a “Problem to Solve”
This is vital: You MUST give the men something to do; more specifically, a “problem to solve,” in order to motivate them to participate! Think about this BEFORE you invite them to your program to volunteer. Sample “problems” to solve follow:
1) “Our program needs men to read to the children on Tuesday mornings from 9:30 – 10:00 a.m. Ca n you do it? Good. See you next Tuesday at 9:25. Thank you!”
2) “We need help setting up tables on Wednesday from 6 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. for the Ice Cream Social. Can you help us out? Great! See you at 5:55p.m. Wednesday then? Thanks!”
3) “Our Ice Cream Social starts at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday. The director wants to take a picture of all the dads—wearing chef hats that we give them when they arrive. The picture will hang in our lobby. Also, we need dads to serve the ice cream, toppings, and water. Can you do it?”
TIP # 3: Kill Two Birds with One Stone
Attach a father-involvement goal to some other goal, and kill two birds with one stone. Example: Early Literacy Enhancement + Father Involvement = an evening event focusing on Father Involvement and Early Literacy Enhancement. (This “dual focus” tends to bring other staff members on-board with you, since they’ll get to focus on their own pet topic, too.)
TIP # 4: Gather Your Team for a Training
Feed your staff, entertain them, and talk about strategies to get men more involved! Get their buy-in and commitment by asking for small-group “visions” for male involvement. And remind everyone: You can always start again!
Visit The Down To Earth Dad website for more tips, techniques, and advice.