I could have used a lot of pictures for this blog that would have best represented how we feel about parents meetings . Here is another photo that I would deem appropriate.
Which ever picture you relate to, sometimes it feels like this when it comes to meeting with parents. Here are a few tips to give you the confidence to meet the parents.
Here are what I think are the top reasons youth workers don’t have or struggle through parent meetings
1. I Feel Inadequate
Whether you are young or old these feelings can be very scary. Youth workers get in trouble when they focus on pitching programs that mess with normal. The thought is, ” I hope they like my ideas” To go from inadequate to incredible, don’t make programs the center of your meeting. Selling ideas is secondary to meeting needs. make it your mission to empower parents and those knees will quit knocking.
2. I Don’t Have Teens or Kids
If you don’t have kids of your own you might find it tough to relate to the parents in the room. No worries. Not having kids does not make you any less a good youth worker. This does open the opportunity to:
- watch and learn how parents and kids interact
- admit you are not an expert and you need help
- build a team with parents who can help you understand the family dynamic
3. I Don’t Have A Plan
Many youth workers live from event to event. Parents are professional jugglers, between school, sports, teens personal lives, and church. Why is the church always the least organized of these? If a softball team can have a schedule of games and practices so can we! Maybe we don’t want to have a meeting with parents because we don’t want to look like a charlatan. If you don’t have great organizational or planning skills, recruit parents and a team to help you and let them help you present the meeting. Play to your strengths, delegate your weakness ,but don’t bow out of the process. Start small and build on it.
I am offering Paul’s Quick Guide To Parents Meetings, on the freebie page, which really deals with the dynamics of creating and hosting a successful parents meeting. It’s a nine page guide with a few tips and tricks. If you are a pro at this, and want to offer some comments, I’ll be glad to add them into a 2.0 edition.