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This Graduation Season, Don’t Forget About The Parents

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This article is a part of Launching Well: Graduating Your Senior Class In Style resource. If you are not subscribed to the Youth Ministry Round Up newsletter, subscribe now and receive a ton of graduation such as how to plan a graduation service, gift ideas and more or you can purchase the guide here.

They say, “If you see a turtle on top of a fence post, it did’t get there by itself” This is true of anyone on a platform anywhere but it’s also true of your graduates. Your graduates are where they are, predominately, because of their parents so why not shine some light on them during this season.

Graduation season is great time to thank your parents for being good parents. They’re the ones who had to

  • wake their kids up every morning
  • make sure they did their homework
  • drive them to school
  • work on those midnight projects
  • and a thousand little things

They may have also help you in your youth ministry. Here are a few ways to say thank you to them for

  • bringing them to youth
  • helping in your midweek meeting
  • volunteering for that fundraiser
  • being a driver
  • going to camp

Not all parents are equal. Some you know well and some you don’t know at all. Treat them differently.

Ideas for all graduate parents

Write them a handwritten note

A simple word of encouragement and letting them know if they need anything you’ll be near by.

Let parents set up a graduate table

I’ve done this for many graduating classes. This gives parents a way to show off their child’s accomplishments, awards, etc. I also offer the parents to put out a graduation basket so the congregation can drop their cards in on their way in or out of service.

A small gift

This need not be expensive, maybe a custom key chain with Good Job! or some there type of encouragement.

Ideas for youth parents

Gift card

This is a simple gesture to thank parents for job well done and they should treat themselves.

Certificate of excellence

You can create a certificate of excellence this yourself on Canva or buy them. I don’t think parents hear “Well done!” enough.

Discount for siblings

If the parent(s) of the graduate still have kids in youth then maybe give them a discount or free access to your next event, camp, etc.

I don’t recommend giving these gifts out in service, as it would overshadow the graduates, but maybe give these gift to parents at the after service dinner or in some low key way.

Parents are stressed, relieved, fearful, all of the above about their child’s futures. Keep them in your prayers and honor them best you can.

Take advantage of graduation to not only say goodbye to graduates but hello to future ministry opportunities as their kids face college or the work place.

It’s possible your ministry isn’t over but just getting started.

Don’t forget to grab the Launching The Well guide here.

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