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student ministry, youth ministry, youth worker

Hard Conversations with Parents

By Doug Franklin January 18, 2010

Got to have a talk with mom and dad and you don’t feel comfortable? Maybe you’ve realized that the parents need to be part of the solution, but you’re worried because you know it’s going to have to be a hard conversation. If this is the case, keep in mind the following:

1. Parents are the primary faith influences
Parents at times forget this truth. Sometimes you can help them a ton by just reminding them that they need to care about their student’s spirituality.

2. You are stronger with them

Parents and you can make a winning combination. When you and parents work together you can do more than you think is possible. Offer partnership when you talk with parents, instead of acting like you have all the answers.

3. Parents need and want help

The parent who thinks they don’t need you is a fool. Most parents I have found want and need help. They are willing to listen and will often be open to what you suggest.

4. Meet parents with parents

If you need to have a hard conversation with a parent who you know is against you, take another parent with you. An adult volunteer who knows the parents would be great. Parents have a way of saying “hey I have been there, we just want to help.”

5. Pray for wisdom
Whenever you’re meeting with parents, pray about it and let God speak through you.

6. Parents have problems

I have always said, “students with problems grow up to be parents with problems.” When you are ministering to parents, have compassion and humility as you minister.

7. God can use any situation

In a youth group game, I once broke a girl’s leg in three places. Both her parents were lawyers and disliked me. The way I handled it turned them into life-long partners of mine. Be honest and real when talking with parents. Many times they want what students want: authenticity.

About the Author

Doug Franklin

Doug Franklin is the president of LeaderTreks, an innovative leadership development organization focusing on students and youth workers. Doug and his wife, Angie, live in West Chicago, Illinois. They don’t have any kids, but they have 2 dogs that think they are children. Diesel and Penelope are Weimaraners  who never leave their side. Doug grew up in…  Read More