Parent Night Live
These are ideas for a Parent-Student meeting. Provide refreshments and have greeters who will take coats and welcome parents into the room or guide them to the registration table (if you use one).
Thank parents for coming and tell them the focus for the evening is to, Òmeet one another, give you a glimpse into (name of your youth ministry), let you know how you may get involved, and to have fun with your teenager.Ó
Share about a recent event or service that went particularly well or at which God did something significant in a studentÕs life. Have one or two students briefly share their appreciation for: something God has done in their life, the youth ministry, their parents, or a combination of these.
Just For Fun
Supply each family team with four rolls of toilet paper. Have everyone in the family wrap the mommy Ð I mean, mummy (either parent or guardian is fine). At the signal students ÒmummifyÓ a parent as quickly as possible, using the entire four rolls of toilet paper as a bandage. The first team done wins. If thereÕs a tie, you can have the audience vote by applause for the most creative or thoroughly wrapped mummy.
Award the winner with an economy pack of toilet paper.
HereÕs your opportunity to do one of the things parents crave youth workers to do most: communicate.
- Tell them about upcoming events, locations, dates, times, and costs. Provide flyers and use sign-up sheets.
- Let them know if you need drivers or chaperones for any of these events.
- Share upcoming opportunities to support upcoming fundraisers.
The Parent Game
This game is to be played like the old Newlywed Game. Four parent/student teams will compete by answering a series of questions. The parents go to a Òsound proof roomÓ while their kids answer questions. Write the answers on cards held face down in their laps. Bring the parents back and score each one. Next, the students leave and the parents answer questions. Award gift certificates (TCBY, local coffee shop, movie tickets, etc.) to winners.
- How did your parents meet? (5 points)
- If your parents could look like any movie star, who would it be? (10 points)
- Which relative does your parent look forward to visiting at Christmas? (10 points)
- Which parent is the most frugal with money? (15 points)
- Who in your family (not just immediate) does your son/daughter resemble most? (5 points)
- Which house rule does your son/daughter most dislike? (10 points)
- Who is your son/daughterÕs favorite teacher? (10 points)
- Where does your son/daughter enjoy shopping for clothes the most? (15 points)
Bonus: When was the last time your son/daughter was embarrassed by something you did? (25 points)
Choose three fathers and students willing to get messy. Players should face one another in chairs about six feet apart. The dads will be fed. Supply each father/student team with a large jar of baby food, a plastic bib, and a flexible plastic spoon. You can add a few optional props, such as baby music, rattles, and baby bottles. Put the bibs on the fathers. Put down plastic or newspapers to catch the mess.
Tell the audience, ÒIf you have ever tried to feed a baby you will appreciate this game. Babies usually throw, spit, spill, or drool most of their food all over dear old dad. ThatÕs why we present to you tonight, FatherÕs Revenge!Ó
At the signal, the student takes a spoonful of food and attempts to feed their Òbaby.Ó The goal is not necessarily to get all of their food in the ÒbabyÕsÓ mouth, but at least onto their face. Reward all contestants with an appropriate prize.
Here are some suggested closing comments. Tweak to make them fit your personality and communication style.
Thanks again for coming tonight and for allowing your son or daughter to be involved here at (name of your youth ministry). We have an awesome year planned. Throughout the year we will have (name a few planned activities). Students can count on fun and friendship with adults who are somewhere between their peers and their parents!
(Name of your ministry) has a serious side, too. Each week we (will) talk about subjects teenagers feel are important or problem areas. For example, peer pressure, family, divorce, purity, decision-making, etc. (If you break up into small groups or host small groups on a separate evening, refer to that.)
(If unchurched parents are present, these remarks are intended to clarify any questions about the spiritual instruction youÕre giving their kids.) We are interested in your student being a whole person Ð mentally, physically, and socially. However, we try to focus on one area that is neglected at times: the spiritual. We will be talking about God and how He fits into our every day lives. Your teens will NOT be coerced or beaten over the head with Òreligion,Ó but asked to think about their relationship with God.
Thanks for coming to Parent Night!
Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Bullying Breakthrough; The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices; If I Had a Parenting Do Over; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers on TheSource4YM.com. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.