Dear Parent of a Child in the Youth Group,
In national surveys of youth workers in the US, curious about the biggest stress factor named? It’s not the noisy kids. Or the disruptive kids. Or the kids who terrorize a lock-in or the girls with the high pitch scream. Yep, named #1 in youth worker frustration? Parents.
Not you, of course. You’re great. You always remember your youth worker during Pastor Appreciation month. You’ve never forgotten a Christmas blessing or his/her birthday. You would NEVER call your kid’s youth worker on a Sunday night at the end of a long weekend retreat and wonder why your child is missing their pillowcase or got stung by a bee while on said retreat.
But for those parents who need a few tips in getting their church’s youth leader’s attention, here goes:
1) Remember the youth worker has several parenting styles to fit in. She has to find a middle-of-the road approach to the rules.
2) Weigh the success of the YM based on the group’s interaction, not just your child’s.
3) Go to the youth worker FIRST about a concern. Please don’t try your thoughts out on the other parents waiting in the parking lot.
4) If you have some concerns, email the youth pastor, letting him know what you’d like to talk about (youth pastors HATE the mysterious ‘I need to meet you’ message w/ no agenda). Schedule a friendly face to face chat. Never storm into the youth office.
5) If they’re young, cut them some slack. If they’re older, cut them some slack. If they’re new…you get the idea.