How To Deal With Parents As A Youth Worker

Dealing with parents in youth work
Unfortunately, dealing with parents in youth work isn’t always picture perfect

As a youth worker, it’s important that we also work with parents. There can be times though that it’s hard to deal with parents for one reason or another.

This week’s Best Of Youth Workin’ It looks back at a series of posts where we gave advice on how to deal with different types of parents:

1. Parents who are unsupportive of your youth work – Some parents may have a problem with the fact that you’re working with their youth. If you’re a social worker, it could be that they see this as an indictment on their parenting skills. If you’re a youth pastor, a young person’s parents may not believe in God and so be concerned that you’re brainwashing their child. Other times, it could simply be that they don’t know enough about the work you’re doing with, so better communication could help solve this problem.

This first post therefore gives four tips on how to deal with this type of unsupportive parent.

2. Parents who are unsupportive of their children – It can be tough seeing parents who don’t support their child. There can be many different reasons why parents act this way, some of them similar to the reasons given above as to why some parents aren’t supportive of your youth work.

This post offers three ways that you can try to encourage parents to be more supportive of their children.

3. Parents who want to be over-involved in your youth work – These parents can be the complete opposite of unsupportive – they want to be involved in every aspect of your youth work. This could be because they want to keep an eye on their child, they’re worried about being unsupportive or perhaps their parents were over-involved in a similar way, so don’t know any different.

This post has a number of “dos and don’ts”, along with five ways that you can help manage their involvement to keep it at an appropriate level.

4. Parents who are aggressive – Aggressive parents can be an especially tough situation to deal with. This post lets you know how to use ICE to keep things cool.

Question: Are there any other types of challenging parents you have to deal with in your youth work? Let us know in the comments below and we’ll try to provide some advice in future posts on how to deal with that type of situation.

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