Author Topic: Parents Who Don't Get It  (Read 1152 times)

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Offline brttknee

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Parents Who Don't Get It
« on: Mon Mar 11, 2013 - 16:47:16 »
I am currently a Youth Leader at my church.  I have such a strong passion for Teen Ministry, and there's one teen, in particular, that I want to discuss today.

His name is Jay and his whole family attends our church.  Wilma, Jay's mom, is a part of our worship team.  Vinnie, his dad, is one of our ushers.  His aunts serve in the church, and his cousins are apart of our Children's Church Ministry.  When I say his whole family attends our church:  I am not exaggerating!  His entire family goes to our church!

Jay is a troublemaker.  He's never been a troublemaker at church, but his parents and family tell me stories about what he does at school, and how he's been suspended and received detention more than any one kid should.  They cut him down to me and tell me how he's such a bad kid and how terrible his attitude is.

They bring this up to me when I approach the parents about a Youth Convention that we're going to in April.  I gave Jay's mom a permission slip & medical release to fill out and sign and she says to me "We'll see if he can go to this.  He's got to learn to behave."

This INFURIATED me seeing as how the church paid for his way to go - because they didn't have the money.... which also ticks me off because his dad doesn't have a job (the kind of guy who can work, but won't work) and they spend Lord knows how much money on buying cigarettes.   ::frustrated::  They didn't let him come to our Lock-In - which, yes it wouldn't been fun for him, but we do a devotional before bedtime.  How can he learn to behave when they don't bring him to Youth on Wednesday nights,  they don't bring him to church on Sundays... they absolutely put in ZERO effort into helping this kid.

I see so much potential in him.  I see good in him, but I don't know how he can ever become a servant of Christ when he has parents who just don't get it.  ::shrug::

If you have any advice or encouragement for me, I'd love to hear it!

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Parents Who Don't Get It
« on: Mon Mar 11, 2013 - 16:47:16 »

Offline Jellybean

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Re: Parents Who Don't Get It
« Reply #1 on: Mon Mar 11, 2013 - 22:16:33 »
The following may seem rather harsh, but I say it to maybe open your eyes to new approaches and possibilities.  I can tell you care about this kid, but you are lacking in compassion for his parents.  You are judging them harshly and making negative assumptions about them that might not be true.

How can he learn to behave when they don't bring him to Youth on Wednesday nights,  they don't bring him to church on Sundays... they absolutely put in ZERO effort into helping this kid.

First, just because they don't bring him to church (do you know why?  You seem to assume it is laziness or lack of caring on their part) doesn't mean they put zero effort into helping their child.  Not at all. 

You also assume that bringing him to Youth and church will help him behave.  May not be true either.  And since when is the goal of Youth and church all about proper behavior anyway?

Quote
I see so much potential in him.  I see good in him, but I don't know how he can ever become a servant of Christ when he has parents who just don't get it.  ::shrug::

I think it is hugely arrogant of you to look down on his parents and declare that they don't "get it" because they don't act in ways that you understand.

I think it may be helpful for you to focus more on compassion, seeking to understand, and on *relationship* than on trying to get others to act in ways that you think is best.  Do you want to get to know this kid better?  How can you do that, even if his attendance at church functions is sketchy at best?

Offline chosenone

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Re: Parents Who Don't Get It
« Reply #2 on: Mon Mar 11, 2013 - 23:36:34 »
Could it be that he refuses to go to church or to youth on Wednesdays? You cannot force a teenager to do anything, unless you physically drag him there.

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Re: Parents Who Don't Get It
« Reply #2 on: Mon Mar 11, 2013 - 23:36:34 »

Offline Jellybean

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Re: Parents Who Don't Get It
« Reply #3 on: Tue Mar 12, 2013 - 03:48:39 »
Could it be that he refuses to go to church or to youth on Wednesdays? You cannot force a teenager to do anything, unless you physically drag him there.

Yeah, I was thinking the same thing.  And for most teenagers, you couldn't even physically drag them there, nor would that ever be a healthy thing to try to attempt.

Offline Carey

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Re: Parents Who Don't Get It
« Reply #4 on: Tue Mar 12, 2013 - 07:08:24 »
As chosenone suggests he may be the one resisting going to church and youth; I was him many years ago and had little interest in attending church, when I did I did not cause problems, but getting me there was no easy task.

That said I encourage you to continue in your efforts, in my experience most of my issues arose from unhealthy peer relationships.  I will not blame my friends as I was as bad an influence as any of em, it was the vicious cycle of a group dynamic that was more to blame.  Any positive peer groups that pull him away from the negative ones, are a good thing.  Any role models that he does not act out in front of are a good thing.

That you are venting a bit here is alright IMO, but I do hope you are able to stem these emotions from affecting your relationship with the parents, forgive them, pray for the family, and cope with the cards your dealt.  Your cause is a noble one, but you are going to need the parents support to make a difference, and if they are aware of your feelings towards them, they will get defensive and may be less than accommodating.

I would suggest a bit more anonymity, if you have used people's real names edit them out and use pseudonyms; you never know they may see themselves here, and that might not lead to a good outcome.

God bless you in your service to the Lord's children, many are saved in the work of youth ministries.


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Re: Parents Who Don't Get It
« Reply #4 on: Tue Mar 12, 2013 - 07:08:24 »



Offline Befaithful

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Re: Parents Who Don't Get It
« Reply #5 on: Fri Oct 09, 2015 - 10:12:31 »
ALL things has God's time !