Kara's Plea as a Mom: Do a Better Job Than I Have with Students' Parents
Now that I’m a mom of an 11 year-old, I’ve crossed the line and become a parent who sends their child away to camp for a week. This summer, Nathan is going to two weeklong camps: one with Boy Scouts (which he did last week) and one with our church (which is next week).
Last week during Boy Scout camp, I can’t tell you how many times I wondered how he was doing. How many times I prayed for him. How many times I walked past his bedroom, especially at night or in the morning, and missed him.
On Thursday of last week, one of the Boy Scout leaders who’s at camp with Nathan and his buddies sent an e.mail with an update on his troop. It was 4 paragraphs. It mentioned no kids by name, so it didn’t really tell me how Nathan is doing.
I read it twice.
Now that I’m a parent, I know how it feels to send a child to camp for a week. I know what it’s like to miss my child and wonder how he’s doing, even though I’m pretty sure he’s doing just fine. I know how it feels to wait in the church parking lot, so excited to see your child step off the bus.
Leaders, please do a better job updating your students’ parents when they’re on trips with you. I did so little of that as a church youth pastor, and it was a mistake. A big one. I could have built so much credibility and good will with parents if I had kept them better informed, especially when I had their kids overnight for one or more nights.
Supporting families means good communication. A few paragraph e.mail, a few tweets, a handful of texts all go a long way. Take it from me. I’m a mom.
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