Information for Parents
4-H is a family affair, offering many opportunities where both child and parent can participate with common interests. The success of the 4-H program experience depends greatly upon parent support and involvement. By being involved in 4-H, parents can ensure the best growth experience possible for their child.
For the Child: When parents participate in 4-H, their child benefits from their support. In clubs where parental support is present, members receive more personal attention and guidance. Through this support, the child gains confidence and a feeling of security.
For the Parent/Guardian: Participation in the 4-H program can help parents feel they are contributing to the development of their own child as well as other children. Involvement in 4-H can promote a sense of adequacy, self-worth, and self-confidence in parents. Parents gain new skills and interests as well as ideas for helping youth learn as they help out. Parents often develop or strengthen a positive rapport with their own child and other youth involved in 4-H. Through involvement in 4-H, parents strengthen their social networks with other parents and youth in the community.
For the Familly: Not only does your child benefit from your involvement in 4-H, families benefit by sharing learning experiences and developing common interests. Through 4-H, family members support each other creating a sense of togetherness. Families are linked to other 4-H members and parents providing a connection with the community.
For the Leaders and Staff: 4-H Parents can save leaders and 4-H Youth Development agents time and work. They can offer skills and connections that the leader or 4-H Agent may not have. Having active parents involved utilizes all the talents of the group and increases manpower supporting the club or program. When parental support is positive, the club is likely to become stronger, and more active.
Parental Involvement at Home
With many parents working these days, it might be hard to imagine having the time to help your child. Parents can play an important role at home in supporting their child’s 4-H experience by helping them prepare for 4-H club meetings, a 4-H event or contest. They can help their child with 4-H project work and record keeping.
Parent Involvement is Key
Parents ensure the best growth experience possible for their child when they get involved. Working with the club, the projects and the leadership of a local school or community 4-H program shows their child that they care and are willing to give their time and energy to support their interests. Research shows when parents are involved, children are more likely to progress academically, to enjoy the experience, to participate in extracurricular activities and are less likely to be a discipline problem. Participation in the 4-H program can help the parent contribute to their community and to the development of their own child and other children.
To find out more, contact your county Cooperative Extension Service.