Drama is every youth pastor and teacher’s least favorite word. Except for the actual drama teachers and even they don’t want that kind of drama. Every kid has drama, guys and girls, ALL OF THEM! Some much less than others, but everyone will get dragged in eventually. I would venture to say that 80% of the drama I deal with today is social media related, so refer back to that post for advice on dealing with social media. Snapchat and TikTok are the worst drama offenders, followed by FaceBook.
Please, please, don’t get involved every time your kid has drama. Seriously. There are times to step in and it is a very fine line to walk, but your kid needs to learn to deal with social problems on their own. Including being picked on and bullied. I’m not saying that is acceptable, but they do need to learn to deal with it. Be there to talk, be there to encourage, make absolutely sure they know they are loved, but sometimes you need to let them deal with it on their own. Again, there is a time to step in and you just have to do the best you can to walk that line.
Don’t expect teachers, youth pastors, principals, or other parents to step in every time either. There was drama in school when I was in school. Fortunately, we couldn’t put it on Snapchat, but there was drama. Couples broke up, friends had fights… in fact, two of my friends got into a fight in my front yard. We worked it out. Sometimes teachers and principals, youth pastors and leaders, need to stay away and let them figure it out. It doesn’t always require a meeting.
Don’t take your kid’s drama to your social media. It NEVER HELPS!!! EVER! It teaches kids the exact opposite of what we need them to learn. It may make you feel better in the short-term, but it doesn’t solve problems, start healthy conversations, or teach kids how to deal with interpersonal conflict.
Looping back to an earlier post, keeping your kids phone out of their room can actually help with drama. Seriously. A lot of the drama I deal with in the youth ministry circulates over night. If kids can’t engage with it during the night, it will die down at least some by morning. They will also sleep better if they aren’t afraid of or worrying about some drama. And if they are well rested they will be less emotionally volatile. They are more capable of making good decisions if they are well rested.
The best things you can do when dealing with your kid’s drama is have healthy conversations with them. Be honest and confront them about their role in the problem, don’t let them blame others. Be encouraging and uplifting to your kid. But all of these things are between you and your kid, not the rest of the world.
Be radical if it is appropriate, especially for younger kids, create an 11 hour space, from 9pm-8am where they know they are not going to have to deal with drama. Kids phones can go off at 9pm and stay off until the next day, it is possible I promise. This isn’t teaching them to avoid problems, it is teaching them to develop healthy habbits. Even adults can shut down their social media and other stuff at 9pm. You can put your phone on “Do Not Desturb,” emergency calls and calls from your favorites will still get through. Teaching them good habbits now, can really help them deal with phones and technology in healthy ways as adults.