7 tips for dealing with airplane parents

A few weeks ago, we looked at 3 types of parents that you'll work with as a youth pastor. Today, we'll continue looking at strategies for dealing with each type of parent. Here are 7 strategies for working with airplane parents, those parents who circle their teens at a respectable distance, giving them an appropriate amount of autonomy.

1. Give them information as soon as possible. Because they give their children appropriate amounts of autonomy, airplane parents are the parents who are most likely to trust teens with their own schedule. This sometimes results in scheduling mishaps, where teens are double or triple booked. To help prevent this, airplane parents appreciate getting events onto their family calendar as early as possible so they can help their teen plan and prioritize their schedule.

2. Limit the frequency of your communications. Airplane parents are typically circling several of their teen's arenas at once. On any given day or week, they're not only receiving communication from you but also from their teen's school and extracurricular activities. Don't swamp their inbox with daily messages. Instead, limit your communication to once a week. To help insure that your information gets read, be consistent in when you send it to parents. When you send information the same day each week, parents know when to expect it.

3. Make information scannable. Airplane parents are masters of multi-tasking. Because they've given their teens appropriate autonomy, they also have time for a life of their own. This means they're exceptionally busy and on the go. So, whenever you send them information, make sure it's scannable. Use headings and different size fonts to create headlines with the most important information. Save details for a smaller font underneath those headlines. This allows busy parents to skim an e-mail, quickly get an accurate sense of what's happening in your ministry, and only read the details regarding the information that pertains directly to their family.

Read the rest of this article here. 

Jen Bradbury on Youth Ministry

Jen serves as the Minister of Youth and Family at Atonement Lutheran Church in Barrington, Illinois. A veteran youth worker, Jen holds an MA in Youth Ministry Leadership from Huntington University. Jen is the author of The Jesus Gap: What Teens Actually Believe about Jesus (The Youth Cartel), The Real Jesus (The Youth Cartel), Unleashing the Hidden Potential of Your Student Leaders (Abingdon), and A Mission That Matters (Abingdon). Her writing has also appeared in YouthWorker Journal, Immerse, and The Christian Century. Jen is also the Assistant Director of Arbor Research Group where she has led many national studies. When not doing ministry or research, she and her husband, Doug, and daughter, Hope, can be found traveling and enjoying life together.

More about Jen

Jen's Books

Now Available!

A Mission That Matters: How To Do Short-Term Missions Without Long-Term Harm

Order Now

Now Available!

Unleashing the Hidden Potential of your Student Leaders

Order Now

The Real Jesus

Order Now

The Jesus Gap

What Teens Actually Believe About Jesus

Based on National Research

Order Now




Recent Posts