In Mentoring Your Students’ Parents, we made the case for Bible class teachers of children and teens providing some mentoring support for the parents of their students. Christian parenting is hard if you had great Christian parents, it can be unbelievably difficult if you didn’t. Offering or suggesting resources to all of your parents can be a less threatening way to begin mentoring them. Those who are interested in learning even more can then easily approach you fro more mentoring help.
There are so many ways you can provide mentoring help. Not all of them require the parents of your students reading books. Not every one wants to put that kind of time into reading and in some environments your parents may be functionally illiterate and unable to process books written on a higher reading level.
So what are some of our favorite parenting resources?
- Free Teach One Reach One Printable Parenting Resources – These free resources print on one sheet or less and cover a wide variety of topics. We add new topics on a regular basis and many are also available in Spanish. They are simple tip sheets to make it easy for even those with little time or reading difficulties to learn some quick ways to help their kids in that area.
- Focus on the Family Resources – The great thing about the Focus on the Family materials is that they are very open to giving away the resources for free to parents who tell them they have difficulty paying. It’s not really obvious if you aren’t aware of the policy, so be sure to help families who struggle financially work through the process. I have used a lot of their resources and we have been getting the parenting magazine in the mail for free for years based on a one time donation we made to support a friend. I really haven’t found much to criticize in their materials. They even make great resources for your students to enjoy.
- Plugged In Resources – Plugged in provides online reviews of movies, television, music, video games and books from a Christian perspective. I used their site a lot when our daughter was younger and at times even now for my own information before seeing a movie. What I love is that they give detailed enough information so you can make an informed decision. They break down language and violence for example by telling exactly what you will see or read instead of the normal “there is some” breakdown in many reviews. I also love that they go into themes – which most reviewers totally ignore, but which can change a child’s world view over time.
- Parenting Like Hannah Blog – Parenting Like Hannah is a ministry of Teach One Reach One. Three times a week there are posts on Christian parenting with tips, ideas, encouragement, lessons, book reviews and more. There is even a search function so if a parent is interested in a particular topic, they can search and read every post.
- Parenting Like Hannah Facebook Community – Parents can ask to join the Parenting Like Hannah Facebook community. It’s free and gives them a safe place to ask questions, watch short videos on a variety of parenting topics, receive daily Christian parenting challenges, get links to the latest blog posts and other resources. Requests to join are usually approved within 24 hours or less.
- Christian Parenting Gatherings – Do you have parents in your congregation whose children are grown, but all faithful, productive Christians? Consider creating a gathering where the parents of your students can interact with them and get to know them. You might even want to have a panel discussion where parents can submit questions in writing anonymously to the panel. Encourage the experienced parents to connect with your parents again outside of teh gathering. Hopefully, a few mentoring relationships will develop from the experience.
- Parent Letters – Sending home a parent letter or email each week with the scriptures you used in class, the learning objectives you had and suggested topics for further discussion at home – even an activity idea – will help parents continue your lesson at home. It’s a great way to get parents more involved in teaching their kids the Bible.
Providing Christian parenting support to the parents of your students can take a few minutes or a few hours of your time. The extra time is not wasted. It will help your students be exposed to more things during the week that will strengthen their faith foundation. It’s part of the “building up of the Church” God commands us to do. It’s definitely worth your time and effort.