7 tips for dealing with spaceship 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 spaceship parents – those who are absent or unaware of what's happening in their child's life.

1. Seek them out whenever they appear. Spaceship parents are not likely to be found in weekly worship services. As a result, whenever you do see them, make a point of connecting. Introduce yourself. Ask them a question. Remind them about upcoming events for their teens. Affirm their presence.

2. Connect on their terms, on their turf. Since spaceship parents are absent, don't expect to see them at parent meetings or other family events in your youth ministry. Instead, make every effort to connect with them in other ways. Occasionally call and leave a message saying you're praying for their family or send them a note of encouragement via snail mail.

3. Don't give false accolades. Don't compliment spaceship parents on their parenting unless it's genuine. Instead, encourage spaceship parents by complimenting their teens. Help spaceship parents get to know their kids by naming the qualities and characteristics you see in them.

4. Don't stop communicating to them. When you send information to spaceship parents it may indeed feel as though it's drifting aimlessly into outer space. You'll rarely, if ever, get a response from spaceship parents. However, communicating information to them keeps the channels of communication open between you.

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.

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Jen's Books

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

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Unleashing the Hidden Potential of your Student Leaders

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The Real Jesus

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The Jesus Gap

What Teens Actually Believe About Jesus

Based on National Research

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