Instead of a Parent Meeting…

Drew Hill September 9, 2019

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I’m guessing you have the same problem we do. Parents
are busy and it’s difficult to get them to show up to a “parent
meeting” at the beginning of a new school year. We have important
information we want to communicate with them about Young Life. We want to
explain club and camp and introduce them to leaders, but the problem is that
parents aren’t showing up to the meetings.

What if, instead of having a “Parent Meeting,” we offered something
of even greater value as a gift to parents. If you were a parent of a teenager,
which of the three meetings below would you come to?

  1. Young
    Life Parent Information Meeting.
  2. How To
    Help Your High Schooler Get Into College.
  3. How To
    Handle Technology and Social Media with your Teenagers- A Seminar to Help
    Parents Living in a World of Screens.

What if, instead of just having a “Young Life Parent
Mtg,” we offered an informed discussion on the topics of “getting
into college” or “technology and social media.” When we scratch
where they’re itching, they’re much more likely to show up. 

We could still give out the same info about Young Life and still introduce the
leaders, but the focus of the meeting wouldn’t be on “our thing,” but
it would be about “their thing.”

How To Help Your High Schooler Get Into College

If you went this route, you could invite an expert or two to come in and share.
Connect with the guidance counselor from the high school or an admissions
counselor from a local college. Do your research ahead of time. Have college
leaders share about their own experience in high school and what motivated
them. Offer “college tours” and have some dates set where leaders
offer to take kids and tour different colleges in the fall. A big way to
motivate kids to study is to actually take them to a college and show them what
their future could look like. Make sure it’s helpful information that you’re
providing. Also, listen to parents and find out ways that you can support and
encourage them as well as their kids. 

How To Handle Technology and Social Media- A Seminar to Help Parents Living
in a World of Screens

This is such a tough topic for parents who want to protect their children,
but also feel overwhelmed by a world of screens that they often don’t
understand. If you go this route, below are a few resources I recommend
reading/watching to help you plan your parent training time. 

Have Smartphones
Destroyed a Generation?

Simon Sinek on Millenials
in the Workplace

Have I Created?

The Tech-Wise Family

In Your Parent Meeting, Make Sure To Include:

  • Calendar
    for the year (YL banquet, fall camp and summer camp dates if you know
  • Leaders
    and their contact info
  • Ways
    parents can get involved (h
    osting club, campaigners, providing meals
    for leaders before club, being “team parents” or on committee,
    prayer team, etc…)
  • Make
    sure to gather their info (email and phone numbers)

A great way to continue contact throughout the year is a
weekly parent email. This is an easy way to communicate with parents, help them
feel involved, and remind them of ways they can serve. Here are some ideas for
information to include in weekly emails to parents:

  • Helpful
    articles on parenting
  • Leader
    introductions with pictures and contact info
  • Re-cap
    club from that week: share main points from the talk and funny moments
  • Links
    to your YL social media accounts
  • Links
    to the area YL website and ability to donate online
  • Important
    dates for upcoming events
  • Any
    specific ways they can help: hosting, food, etc.
  • Camp:
    Utilize these emails to sell camp to parents. You can include dates,
    deadlines, a cost breakdown, and opportunities to raise money.

Written by Drew Hill.

Drew is a pastor in Greensboro, NC and also on staff with
Young Life in the Global Innovation and Training department. Drew started the
Young Life Leader Blog in 2010 and has written an award-winning book for Young
Life leaders called “Alongside:
Loving Teenagers with the Gospel.

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