Thursday, March 22, 2007

Helping Parents Communicate

As the parent of an 8 & 1 year old I have already begun to see many shortcomings in my parenting ability. Perhaps one of the most difficult ones to overcome is my own arrogance. Certainly my life experiences along with my years of working with youth have given me significant insight and wisdom ( I say that only somewhat fasitiously). I have 33 years of experience on this planet, some good and some bad, but all have influenced who I am and I have learned valuable lessons from many of them (probably not as many as those who are less stubborn). Certainly my daughter and my son know this!!

It is that last sentence that shows my arrogance! The truth is they don't know this. They don't know my life experiences (thankfully), they don't know the pains and the disappointments, and they don't know the joys. Part of my job as a parent is to communicate the lessons I have learned!! The problem is I sometimes forget and even when I remember I don't know how to communicat these things. Most of the time I simply expect my kids to know how much I know and trust me.

So what does this have to do with youth ministry? Youth pastors and workers must work with parents and help them as much as possible. I don't know that you have to have the answer to this quandry (remember parents have a lot of life experience and probably some problem solving skills). I would suggest you remind them (the parents) that their students think the world they live in is so different from the world their parents lived in, that they often don't know how much their parents know. In some ways they are correct. Technology and media has certainly changed. That said, the human condition hasn't changed. Parents have valuable insight, but they need to figure out how to communicate with their students.

The struggle of communication between parents and students is difficult. I would suggest a book by Kent Julian How to Get Your Teen To Talk To You.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

How To Be A Man

The title of this post is also the title of a book I am currently reading. As the father of a 19 month old boy I recognize the importance of teaching my son how to be a man. As a result I am working on some book ideas. The above book is part of my research. Although it is dated, the ideas and thoughts in it are very helpful. This would be a great book to share with parents.

The book is by Harvey Newcomb. The language is dated as well as the cover, but the info is at the very least challenging.