Yesterday Steven and I posted about how to deal with students who stop communicating with you. Tonight I had a phone call from a parent of one of my high school small group students and she felt her son had stopped communicating with her. She asked if I would reach out to him and try to help him with a situation he is dealing with.
I’m always willing to help parents out but I always make sure that I go over a few points with them first:
- They are the authority in their student’s life, not me. I’m happy to help but I need to work WITH them, not IN PLACE OF them.
- I don’t want to go against their wishes but sometimes I need to talk with a parent and get them to compromise a little bit in the beginning. Small steps early on will lead to big steps later.
- I always offer to pray with the parents. This particular situation I’m helping this family out with now is affecting the whole family, not just the student in my small group.
- In this case I’m going to need some help from Scripture to show this student that what he is doing wrong is pointed out in the Bible as not a way that Christians behave and represent themselves. Always arm yourself with Scripture before you delve into a problem with a student.
- Have a list ready for a student. These are the things you are going to talk about and where your student needs to change. When you give them a piece of paper to look at and take with them it makes the problem real and gives them something physical to look at and to work on.
- Pray! Pray! Pray! Don’t try to take on a students problems, especially one that is affecting an entire family, and try to fix everything yourself. Ask God to give you direction and the right words at the right time to work through a problem.
Everything we put in the post yesterday also applies to this situation. We didn’t intend for this to be a two-part post but that’s what’s happened in this case. I’ve learned to roll with what God hands to me!