A group of parents, teachers, and children sit on the floor playing with Duplo bricks.

Welcoming Workshops

Welcoming Workshops

Are you struggling to get parents to attend your workshops?

Providing a warm and welcoming atmosphere for parents and other family members is crucial to ensuring a successful and enjoyable drop-in session. Following our Mouse Club top tips will help you create such an environment and word will soon get round that you're not that scary after all.

Making everyone feel welcome and comfortable in the meeting space is essential. Ensure that the space is accessible for all attendees, and arrange the chairs in a circle or around a table to make as collaborative and inclusive environment as possible. Avoid having parents sitting in rows if you can, as this can create a sense of hierarchy and make people feel excluded.

When parents arrive, offer them refreshments, even if it's just a glass of water. This small gesture can make a big difference, help break the ice, and make people feel more comfortable, making it easier for everyone to engage in conversation and have a good time.

Have someone to meet and greet in a warm, friendly manner. A friendly smile and kind words are excellent ways to put parents at ease. Making casual conversations about the weather or what's on TV can help everyone feel more comfortable and establish a sense of connection. By asking open-ended questions like "How are you?" and "How was your journey?" you can create a warm, friendly atmosphere that builds trust and understanding. Making a conscious effort to greet others in a welcoming manner and engaging in polite conversation like this can go a long way in building positive relationships.

Meeting parents with an open mind, respect, and empathy is crucial. Be willing to listen to their opinions without judgment and consider their perspective, even if it differs from yours.

Sharing relevant experiences, when appropriate, can help build rapport with others and create a more inclusive atmosphere during group discussions or meetings, as it demonstrates that you are willing to be vulnerable and open with others. However, it is essential to be mindful of what you share and how you share it. Inappropriate self-disclosure can make others uncomfortable or detract from the conversation. As a general rule, focus on sharing experiences relevant to the topic at hand and that contribute to the discussion constructively.

When talking about learning resources and outcomes, make physical and visual materials available for parents to engage with. Providing visual aids like this helps parents understand the subject better and encourages them to participate in discussions and express their thoughts more freely. Creating a more engaging and collaborative learning experience in this way will lead to better retention and understanding of the information you are sharing.

It is important to ensure you have enough staff members. Parents who are shy or nervous may require additional attention and support, and this could involve recruiting staff members who are particularly skilled at communicating and effectively interacting with such parents. It may also be helpful to offer a quiet space for any sensitive or personal conversations.

By following these guidelines, you can create an environment at your parent workshop that is welcoming, conducive to learning and community building, and comfortable and inviting for everyone involved!

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