Tomorrow night we are having a parent appreciation banquet. The youth are cooking supper for and serving their parents as a way of saying "Thanks." The overwhelming response that I have gotten from students has been.
When I say so that you can show your appreciation to your parents for all that they do for you, they generally look back at me with puzzled looks. Understand that these are students who have good parents. I mean no parent is perfect, but these are people who’s parents are generally pretty good at the whole parent thing and the student looks at me like I am crazy when I say that they should be grateful.
I guess it is because I lost my parents when I was still a teenager and lived as a teen both with parents and without that I have this passion for helping teenagers learn to appreciate their parents. I don’t do as much as I would like (in fact it has been a while since I have done anything formal at all) but I always try to remind students how great it is to have parents who care about you.
So that is what we are doing tomorrow night. Then as "entertainment" we are going to divide the students and parents up into "families" so that teenagers are with someone else’s parents. Then we are going to do a couple of role play things where the adults are the teenagers and vice versa. These are really more just for fun than anything else. Then I am going to have teenagers and adults write down questions that they have for their counterparts. Then they will discuss them in their temporary families. Hopefully it will help parents and teens both come away with some fresh eyes on their relationship.