This is a resource provided by Orange, whose curriculum we use for teaching. Parents, read this!
1. We’re Teaching this.
Branding- it’s everywhere. You can’t turn on the TV or drive down the street without seeing hundreds of ads and billboards. Companies spend millions of dollars trying to shape how YOU see THEM, developing their brand. But what about the Church? What are WE known for? Philippians chapter 2, has a lot to say about the way we love others. As we unpack this chapter, we discover that our love for people, both inside and outside the church, ultimately determines what we are known for—our brand.
2. Think About This
From Losing Your Marbles / Playing for Keeps by Reggie Joiner, Kristen Ivy, Elizabeth Hansen
I remember a few years ago when I was leading a small group and one of the girls had stopped attending. I knew she was making some unwise choices related to drinking, and she was choosing not to come to church anymore because she didn’t want to feel judged. But here’s the interesting thing: she still liked hanging out. We would meet from time to time, at Starbucks, at a school event,—anywhere that she knew we would have fun. And
in those moments, I didn’t talk about her decisions. She knew what I thought. But I knew at that juncture in her life, it was more important to have fun and stay connected than to continue reminding her of something she already knew.
Hint: most kids and teenagers shut down when you take the eye-to-eye, “let’s talk about what’s going on” approach, they tend to talk when they’re engaged in a fun activity, not making eye contact, and feel in control of the agenda.
If you’re a parent, you may need to set aside time with your kids when you agree not to discuss their issues. This can be especially true if they are in a tough season of life. When the tension is high, you need a scheduled break—just to have fun together.
It’s not that fun is the most important thing. If you give teenagers words and stories that are boring, they may not care. If you belong to a tribe that never laughs, they won’t want to be a part of it.
So whatever you do this week, make it fun.
3. Try This
When is the last time your family had fun without an agenda? No strings attached, fun? No lesson involved, fun? No obligations to the baseball team, work picnic, church activity or school involved, fun?
Maybe it’s time for that.
Ask your student for ideas on something that they think would be really fun to do as a family. Students tend to engage more when they have some input into which activity is chosen. Say something like this, “I think it’s time we do something fun as a family. How would you feel about planning it?” Some students really like to go to the mall. Others hate it. Some would love to play mini-golf with their family. Others would cringe at the idea. Allowing them to plan the event, offering some ownership, can help students have a positive attitude and prevent the dreaded eye-roll.
As parents, sometimes the idea of a family event can be intimidating. “What if my teenager doesn’t want to be seen in public with me?” That’s the great thing about letting THEM choose. They may choose a big night out but or they may ask for a simple movie night in the house. Choose to have fun together no matter what you do! Simply spending time together as a family without fighting can go a long way in easing the tension between parents and teens.
Make a commitment on your part to do the activity—no agenda, no complaining, and no lecturing. So give them a budget limit, if appropriate, and let them be as creative or as simple as they want
Just have fun together. Remember, the goal is to let students know you not only love them, but you like them and what better way to communicate that than by hanging out with them and having fun?
Get connected to a wider community of parents at www.orangeparents.org.
Danae is the Director of Youth Ministries at KIUMC. She has a B.A. in Culinary Arts and Service Management from Paul Smiths College in Paul Smiths, NY. She has attended KIUMC for the past 8 years. Danae enjoys cooking, spending time with family and friends, and is a complete Disney Fanatic.