A: Our Big Brothers come from diverse backgrounds just like our Littles. They are regular people, just like you. You don’t need any special degrees or job skills. You just have to want to positively impact a young person. Role models come in all shapes and sizes, and you could be a perfect fit!
2. When can I see my Little Brother?
A: As a Big Brother/Little Brother team, you decide together what you want to do and get parental approval. We recommend that you keep a consistent schedule of outings and get together on a regular basis. Your local agency will provide more guidance on this. Until your relationship is established, the outings depend on the comfort level of your Little’s parents, your Little and you.
3. How much money should I spend?
A: The quality of time invested with your Little is more important than the amount of money you spend. That’s why we don’t encourage spending a lot of money on your outings. The goal of the relationship is to help him see the world through a different lens, so you can inspire him to become something he never thought possible. If you are going to spend money, we encourage you to seek out low-cost activities, especially in the beginning. Play a game together, or share the pizza you were going to have for lunch anyway. Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies offer donor-supported group activities that are a great way to meet other Bigs and Littles. As a Big Brother, you may also receive notices for free tickets to cultural and sports activities for you both to enjoy.
4. What are some good ideas for outings with my Little Brother?
A: Share an activity that gives you something in common to talk about. Buy a comic book to read together. Play a board game. Hit the court and shoot some hoops! Take a ride in the car with the radio on, and talk about the music you like. You want to select activities that give each of you a chance to learn more about one another. For children, playing can be learning. Most important: keep it simple, and enjoy yourselves!
5. Can I bring my spouse, a friend or family member on outings?
A: In the beginning, it is important for you and your Little Brother to get to know each other. This can happen best on a one-to-one basis. However, over time it is also valuable for your Little to get to know the people who are important to you. Keep in mind, your Little may begin to feel jealous or neglected if you are spending lots of time with others. The main focus is the friendship you develop with your Little and the impact you have on his life.
6. What kind of support can I expect from Big Brothers Big Sisters once I get matched?
A: Once you are matched with your Little Brother, a Match Support Specialist from the agency will be in regular contact with you to provide assistance and give feedback. Any time you are unsure about what to do or how to handle a situation, a Match Support Specialist can help. They can help with ideas for activities, guidance for handling possible difficult situations and provide feedback on how you are making a difference.
7. Will I become a replacement parent?
A: No, Littles have a parent or guardian in their life already. What they need is a Big to spend quality, one-on-one time with them. Someone to have fun with, someone they can confide in, someone like you!
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