My first encounter with an angry parent was a phone call on my second day of youth ministry. The parent called to complain that her son was not in the same small group as a friend. She said, “It was a great injustice.” I remember hanging up and thinking, “She’s crazy.”
I’m sure we’ve met parents that have made us wonder whether we should be concerned or confused. When you are responsible for the well being, growth and success for another human being it will make you crazy. As youth ministers you can help parents by recognizing:
TEENAGERS ARE CRAZY TOO
The reason parents go crazy is because their kids will do crazy things. It will stress them out, make them panic and sometimes they’ll take it out on you.
Do not take it personally, love them and remind them the teenage mind is still developing. Offer to talk to the teen and speak into their life.
THEY WERE NEVER GIVEN A MANUAL
Parenting is on the job learning, literally. There are books and classes you can take to prepare yourself; however, life happens and all theory goes out the window.
THEY NEED A VIABLE PARTNER
Parents are primarily responsible for their kids faith formation, just as they are primarily responsible for:
- Potty training
- Shoelace tying
- Table manners
- Brushing teeth
- And I think you get the point.
Despite the responsibility there will be times when their child is not compliant with their instruction. Teens (And toddlers) will rebel against their parents, but they might listen to you. Let parents know they are not alone by reaching out and giving them people to lean on.
LIFE IS MESSY
Life is messy for everyone and it will cause us to act irrational from time to time. It’s easy to point to parents and call them crazy; however, they are doing their best. As a youth minister you need to encourage them, pray for them and support them.
The best thing the church can do for the family is offer the family support. That doesn’t mean programs, but creating opportunities where:
- Parents can grow on their own.
- Teens can build community.
- Families can connect.
Keep parents in mind and give them grace on the craziness that they sometimes display. Don’t make it personal and just remember that life is a journey.
Question: How do you come alongside of parents? You can leave a comment by clicking here.