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NYWC 07: Seminar #2

Parent Pains? How to Turn the Parents of Your Students into Your Biggest Fans
Marv Penner

Why all the panic?
-Parents long to understand: themselves as people, their kids in all the transition.
-Parents long for support and encouragement from someone who loves their kid!
-Parents often look at their kid, Youth workers often look at the group of kids.
-Parents often view youth ministry success in different terms than youth workers do.
(behavioral management, nice vs spiritual transformation)
-Parents feel threatened because their kids share at a deep level with us (not them).

-Don’t assume kids talk to their parents and don’t assume they get along!
-Remember communication involves listening
-Communicate using an attitude of respect and humility.

Acknowledge parents (importance and complexity)
Affirm parents (speak positively, family as context for application, avoid ‘us vs them’)
Inform parents (cal, nwsltr, info bull brd, website, posted pix, give lead time on events)
Encourage parents (simple spoken words in opportunity, notes/emails/cards –physical better)
Consult parents (yth council, indiv conversations, help understand diff b/t input and control)
Connecting parents
Equipping parents (clip it and put into their hands, resource cart -cds, dvd, brochures, books, etc-, bring in an expert)
Involve parents (make it more than bringing lasagna or driving the van, it’s more than task, it’s relational, the tasks are excuses for the relational time)
Educate parents

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