Have you ever been in a situation where you thought the exact words of the title of today’s post? I certainly know that I have. Sometimes parents can really put a bad taste in your mouth when it comes to ministry.
One of the best conferences I ever attended was led by Tim Elmore and he talked about four different types of parents that can really get your goat!
1. Monster Parents. This type of parent can morph from a supportive parent to the worst version of himself in 0 seconds flat. I’ve seen monster parents everywhere, but never so much as I have at a ballgame. Monster parents yell at their kids. They don’t mind yelling at yours either! They tell their kids things like "How could you miss that ball?," "Are you blind?," and "Come on, a girl can hit better than that." A monster parent in your ministry will attack you when they think you have wronged their child. They can also be hurtful when they volunteer because sometimes their reputation on the field has preceded them to your church!
2. Helicopter Parents. This parent is easily distinguishable. These parents never let their children out of their sight. They volunteer for everything. They want to teach wherever their kids are. They want to chaperone every event. At first, this may seem like a dream, and then you realize they don’t care what the other kids are doing, they just want to watch their own child! Helicopter parents might come from a past abuse or see a need to shelter their children from the "evils of the world." The hover constantly over their children.
3. My Buddy Parents. These parents have shirked the responsiblity of parenting their children in exchange for being their child’s best friend! This parent is usually wiling to go to great lengths to make sure that their children love them the best! They rarely discipline their children and the children can seem a bit … well, spoiled! My buddy parents like to be friends with their kids’ friends too, so when they volunteer in your ministry, you often find you don’t have a very good leader. Their classrooms will be chaotic, unplanned, and generally out-of-control.
4. Dry Cleaner Parents. This parent is busy! She is always on the go getting her child to the next practice or commitment. A dry cleaner parent pays a great deal of money to make sure her child comes out clean and sparkly. This parent will make sure that her kid is at church as long as it doesn’t interfere with dance, softball, catching practice, gymnastics, piano, and that all important travel ball! Dry cleaner parents will come to you on a Sunday morning and say, "Will you save my kid? I think he needs to be baptized." For the dry cleaner parent, YOU are her child’s spiritual leader.