You finally meet your Little, and you are excited to get started! How do you spend the first few weeks of your match as you get to know your Little? We have laid out the first 6 weeks of your match to make sure you have a smooth start. If you have any further questions about your match, ask your Match Support Specialist!
Week 1: Lay of the Land
The first week is always a little awkward for both Big and Little. If you are meeting with your Little at your workplace, introduce your Little to the mentoring site by taking a tour. Introduce your Little to key staff members so they feel like they are a part of the team. Are there rules at your workplace that everyone must follow, such as housekeeping rules, access to certain areas and fire and safety rules? Where are the bathrooms located? Where is the breakroom and can they have access to that space? Review the time in which the Little will be picked up by BBBS staff.
If you are using the STEM Lab then you can show them around the facility and talk about the different things you can do during your match meeting.
One way to start forming your relationship with your Little is to ask each other questions. Below is a list of great “Get To Know You” questions to get the conversation started.
- What is your favorite food? Least favorite food? The best meal you ever had?
- What is the funniest thing that happened to you this week?
- What is your favorite place in your neighborhood? Scariest place?
- What is your most prized possession? Why?
- Who is your favorite relative? Why?
- What is your favorite subject in school?
- What do you like to do on school vacation days?
- What was your best Halloween costume?
- What is your favorite type of music? Group/singer?
- If you were an animal, what would you be?
- What is the worst storm you were ever in?
- What is your favorite thing to cook?
- What do you do on a snow day?
- What is your middle name? Do you like it?
- What is your favorite sport to play? To watch?
At the end of your first match meeting you may want to talk to your Little about what to expect for the next week.
Week 2: Explore
We encourage you to take time during your second week to learn about all of the activities and resources that are available for your use. Show your Little the STEM website and explore the games and activities posted. There should be several things that will peak the interest of both you and you Little. Explore the VTCRC lab facility; we have many fun projects for you to engage in, and if you need help, just ask! If you feel ready, you can even do a short STEM activity together!
Week 3: Finish What You Start
Starting a project and seeing it to the end can sometimes be a challenge. Children have a tendency to want to start something, but they may not be fully committed to completing the project, especially if they face obstacles along the way. Talk to your Little about the importance of reaching a goal. Some of the activities in the STEM Lab will take multiple weeks to complete. If we need to protect or save your work, please let us know. We will keep your project safe so you can begin working again when you return!
Week 4: Check In
How is the relationship developing? Is there something you would like to discuss with BBBS staff support team? Do you have any concerns or questions about the relationship? If you feel like you need to get to know your Little better, go back and ask more “Get To Know You” questions from Week 1. Each child is different, so your match relationship will develop in its own unique way. Shake things up by trying a new activity! Keep working on having fun and know we are there to support you and your match.
Week 5: Choosing a Career
Many of our Littles do not have a conversation about career focus with their parents at this phase in life. We have the opportunity to use the Montgomery County Public School career assessment tool as a resource to gauge your Little’s possible career interests. This will help you guide your Little towards activities that may interest them. While this assessment isn’t the end-all, be-all of your Little’s future career, it will give you a look into how to use everyday activities to spark a deep-rooted interest in your Little.
Week 6: Celebrate!
We sometimes forget to celebrate our successes. Have you and your Little finished a project that you want to brag about? Go ahead and share your success! Ask the site staff to take a picture or record your accomplishment. Littles love to earn awards and nothing is better than having a story shared about a fun project or accomplishment.