One thing I know today to be true........... most of the parents you will lead this week are discouraged.
Most of them feel as if they have failed in at least one area. Most of them are overworked, exhausted, and trying to hold it all together.
You could be the difference maker in the lives of the families you lead this week. Here are some practical things you can do to show your support.
1. Let them know they're not alone. Reach out. Find a way to make contact with parents this week. Ask them how you can best pray for their families. Find a way to remind them that you're praying for them....text messages, FB, or a personal phone call that says "I'm lifting your family up today" can go a long way. Show them that you are there walking through this trial with them.
2. Encourage them. Most every parent I know wants to be a good parent. Even if, from the outside they're not raising kids the way that I think is best, most of them really do love their kids and have great intentions. I want to encourage parents at every turn. Find a positive thing you've seen in their child lately and encourage them by pointing that out. "You know, you're doing a great job with Johnny. The other day I saw him show compassion in a situation that other kids just walked right past."
3. Affirm their feelings. Sometimes parenting is just plain discouraging. Let them know that this is normal. They're not horrible for feeling the way they do. Give them scripture that may be helpful but be careful about taking on the role of wise sage. Parent's don't generally need your advice. They want to know they are normal and to feel supported.
4. Remind them you are their biggest fan. Every player in the game needs to know they are personally being supported. Cheer parents on by sending hand written notes, sharing scripture, remind them they're doing a great job, or provide opportunities for parents to process with other parents. In giving them a venue to express their feelings, you're saying to them "I am in your corner." Maybe a coffee night for parents during your mid-week kids ministry for parents to sit and process once a month....anything can go a long ways in showing your support.
We have seen the numbers and know that the best way to see a ministry that lasts for years to come is to invest in parents. Get in the trenches with the parents in your ministry. Remind them they're not alone. Show them you care. Tell them they're doing a great job. Build them up and show you're on their team.
How about you? What sorts of practical things do you so that parents will know you support them?
Get in the trenches with the parents in your ministry. Remind them they're not alone. Show them you care. Tell them they're doing a great job