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student ministry, youth ministry, youth worker

Parent Kid Communication

By Doug Franklin January 10, 2011

This past weekend I was running an adult volunteer training in Mason, OH. I was teaching on communication techniques adults can use with students. A woman put her hand up and commented on how these techniques don’t work for her with her kid. She was obviously frustrated with a lack of communication between her and her son. I know what she is going through; I am 47 years old and I still don’t listen to my mother. Parent and kid communication is different than youth worker and student communication because they are based on a different relationship. Parents have it hard; they have to re-learn how to communicate with their student every two to three years. They also have lots of baggage in their relationship that can lead to mis-trust. Parents must build trust in order to have good communication with their kids. Trust requires the following:

1. Parents be quick to say sorry
The most powerful conversations I ever had with my dad were the ones where he said he was sorry. I trusted him so much after he said those words to me.

2. Don’t judge
Students limit their vulnerability with their parents because they are afraid they or their friends are going to be judged. Teach character from day one with your students. This will help you avoid the judgement speech.

3. Be open about past failures
Share past failures. This openness will allow your students to talk openly with you about their thoughts and actions.

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