As a LifeKids leader, you’ve probably heard someone say we partner with parents. Why do we do it? Because our small group of kids is only with us for one hour of the week—parents are with their kids a whole lot more than that!
What things do we do to partner with parents and support them? Watch this video and read below to get some practical, concrete steps to make it easy!
- Introduce yourself. If parents don’t know who you are, then you can’t be on their team. Make it a point to introduce yourself to the parents of the kids in your group.
- Ask parents what’s going on in their child’s life. Ask how you can reinforce the values they’re teaching their kid, and ways you can support their kid when their kid (or their whole family) is struggling.
- Let parents know what you’re talking about in group. Set them up to continue the conversation at home.
- Take time to share the Challenge Card with parents so they can use it as a conversation starter.
- Share something a kid brought up during small group activity or discussion time.
- Invite parents into the important moments of their kid’s life. Parents want to be a part of these life-changing moments!
- Take note when a child says they want to follow Jesus, that they think they may want to be baptized, or they bring up an amazing way God is showing up in their life.
- Listen to and encourage the child, and always invite the parents into the conversation as well.
- Brag to the parents about their kid. Parents are encouraged when they hear specific, positive praise for their child.
- Pay attention for specific things you can brag about, like how well they participated in worship, what they did to be a good friend to another child, or something cool they did in group.
- Show up on social media. When you introduce yourself to a family, ask if you can follow the parents on social media.
- It will help parents easily communicate with you, and you’ll be able to follow their family’s celebrations.
- Be wise on social media so parents know they can trust you as an influence in their child’s life.
- Show up at events. When you have the margin in your schedule, show up for games, birthdays, recitals, plays, etc. for the kids in your small group.
- Sit with or have a conversation with the parents while you’re there.
- If you can’t make it, see if the kid’s parents will take video of their child at the event and send it to you!
Talk through these discussion questions with your fellow leaders and LifeKids team.
- What does “partner with parents” mean to you?
- What are some ways you already partner with parents well?
- Which suggestions from the video do you think would be easy for you start doing?
- What are some ways you can partner with parents that aren’t listed in the video?
A special thank you to Orange and the reThink Group for their ideas and research on their “lead small” philosophy referenced in this guide.