1 – 2 Years
Now that you have been matched for a year+, you might feel like your match has hit its stride. Expectations and goals have been set, routines have been established, you have built some trust and know what you enjoy to do together and are comfortable in your match. Now that you are in this place, your match will look a little different but in what should be an exciting way!
PYD – At this point talking about goals and incorporating PYD should feel more natural. You will have participated in taking BBBS surveys a few times at this point and talked about results with Match Support, as well as had an anniversary in your match which is a great time to talk about and reassess goals. Connection should be established so that other goals can be worked on incidentally and organically. You also may have a more established rapport with Guardian so that talking about goals between yourselves can be a part of your conversations.
Safety / Setting Limits – Agency safety guidelines may be second nature at this point, and you will still have Match Support reviews about them but not as often. You have built a connection with your Little where they should understand your role in keeping them safe on outings in a way that will not negatively impact your friendship. Remember, overnights are not an option until you reach your first year. If this is something your match is considering, be sure to check out our overnight safety guideline here and talk more with your Match Support Coordinator about the approval process.
Communication / Rapport – Hopefully in person communication with Little is comfortable at this time, you share easily, can talk about more difficult topics, resolve differences and be relaxed in spaces of silence on your outings. If a strong connection is still an area you’re working on, that’s ok. Some matches develop a connection sooner than others. You would ideally have a comfortable rapport and communication routine with Guardian as well, where you both are comfortable talking beyond just logistics, and Guardian will share with you about Little’s home, school and social activities to help give you a better picture of what is going on in their life.
Building trust is an important part of any new relationship, for more guidance around this please check out of Bigs Guide to Building Trust.
Establishing Routines – Since you have worked together with Match Support for some time now to set up a communication and outing schedule that works for your match, you have worked out the best way to be in touch with Guardian for planning. You may have found that after building a strong connection that is slightly different than the standard 2x a month outing schedule works best for you – possibilities include a combination of virtual and in person outings, or less frequent but longer/consistent outings with phone communication in between. Match Support will also take a step back from the match and reduce to quarterly required communication once this has been established within your match.
Common Match Challenges – Keeping open communication with Guardian with less Match Support as an intermediary role is important but may start to become a little more difficult. It might be a good time to consider resetting expectations on frequency and communication styles. You may also feel like your impact in the match is a little different – it is not all a novelty anymore and maybe your routine feels more like a “rut.”
Bigs looking for additional support outside of Match Support calls have access to the wisdom of our veteran Bigs by way of “Big 2 Big,” a group of experienced Bigs from our program who are available to support Bigs as they navigate their role as a mentor. B2B members are available by appointment & calls are optional.
Bigs can schedule a call with a B2B member here.
Simply scroll down to find the option for a “Big 2 Big Chat” and follow the prompts from there.
As you and your Little are building trust and rapport it can be helpful to know what your Little needs to best express themselves and feel safe to practice Positive Youth Development (PYD) skills in your match. Click here for more information.