Wednesday, July 31, 2013

CONFIRMATION: Parents Helping with Confirmation

When I speak to pastors regarding the parent's role in confirmation they all say the parents don't participate enough. I have to wonder two things:  1) Do the parents realize how important they are in the process? 2) Do you let them know how they can help?

I have created a How Parents Can Help With Confirmation document in MSWord and in pdf (which seemed to save better) that you can use or modify to share. A number of pastors have begun having parents be an integral part of the teaching process in leading small groups and/or helping with classroom management.  There are pros and cons in both of these models.  With regard to classroom management I would say that having parents involved for that reason may alleviate some of the problems but it also sends a message to students that the pastor/teacher cannot handle the problems. I will talk about classroom management in a post in the near future. Below you can see the pros and cons of having parents directly involved in the education process.

Parents as a Part of the Teaching Experience
  • Parents know and understand the curriculum and get a refresher at the same time.
  • Parents have the opportunity to hear what their children think about what is being taught.
  • Parents have a greater understanding of what's required every week.
  • Parents take the confirmation journey with their children.

  • Sometimes parents overshadow the students in discussion.
  • Parents aren't always comfortable with the silence after a question is asked and answer for the students.
  • Middle school students will not freely discuss some issues with their parents or the parents of a friend in the room. 
  • Some parents push a little too hard for their kids to succeed and confirmation is not that kind of a class. These parents would do better to help at home. 
  • Pastors/teachers sometimes forget that the class is for the kids and speak more to the parents.
  • Having parents involved hinders the students from developing a personal relationship with the pastor/teacher.

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