FAQs for Mothers and Boys

Your questions answered

Q:  I am a mother interested in Big Buddy for my son. I am worried about how safe the mentors are. Can you guarantee they are 100% safe?
A: We understand your concern and while no one can honestly make 100% guarantees, we can assure you that we have one of the best screening processes in New Zealand. We go to more lengths than any school, sports club or youth group to ensure Big Buddy mentors are emotionally healthy men of good character.

Q: I am a mother interested in Big Buddy for my son. Will this cost me any money?
A: No. While we are always open to donations from mothers or their families we do not ‘charge’ mothers. If your son and his Buddy decide to do an outing that costs something e.g. a concert or sports event, you may need to help with these costs. How much will depend on what you, the Buddy, and your son decide on.

Q: My son has a father but we don’t see him much and in any case, he’s a useless father and I don’t like him. Can I get a Big Buddy for my boy?
A: Big Buddy is for boys without fathers. We are careful to establish how much contact your son has with his father and generally do not get involved if he has contact.

Q: But his father wants nothing do with him?
A: With your permission, we will contact his father and confirm this. In some cases this can work only if the father confirms he wants no contact or gives the match his blessing. This has happened.

Q: Why do you make such a big deal about the boy’s father?
A: Many years experience tells us if the boy’s father is around and having some kind of contact, putting a mentor with the boy will be psychologically difficult for the boy (his loyalties will be split) and it will be a difficult and awkward position for the mentor. If the father comes back into relationship with his son, what becomes of the mentor? Lastly and pragmatically, very few volunteers would be willing to go into a situation where the father may reappear.

Q: I would like a male mentor for my daughter who has no father; is this possible?
A: We have been asked this a few times! We do not currently support mentors for girls. Could be a good idea and maybe in the future.

Q: How long do the mentoring relationships last for?
A: Most say it is for life but we haven’t been around long enough to confirm this! Some don’t work, for a variety of reasons but most last well beyond the first year.

Q: Why don’t some matches work?
A:People have to move cities for work or family and a few men or boys discover mentoring is not for them.

For Potential Little Buddies

Q: I have never seen my dad - will the Big Buddy be a new dad for me?
A: No he is a Buddy, a friend more like an uncle than a Dad and no one can replace your dad.

Q: Will the Buddy buy me lots of cool stuff?
A: No, it is not about buying stuff, it’s about doing stuff and hanging out together.

Q: If my friends ask about my Big Buddy what do I say?
A: Tell them he is your Big Buddy - your friend - and tell them what stuff you do together.

Q: Will he help my mum and be a friend to her too?
A: No, he is for you, he is your friend only. He will be friendly to your mum but not her special friend.

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