The Most Drawn Out April Fool’s Joke
One year ago today, just a couple of weeks into the Covid-19 pandemic, my Jr. High director, Jonah, and I did the most drawn-out April Fool’s joke on YouTube live. Our youth group had been moved entirely online at that point and I thought everyone could use a little humor! Starting at the 10-minute mark, this went on for 29 minutes. You can see it here (link will take you to YouTube):
Since our church was technically in the “city limits” of Boring, OR (yes, it’s really named that), we decided to rename our youth ministry “Boring Student Ministries.” I love that you can see the live comments on this. Some loved it, but many students were over it really fast! For what it’s worth, this joke was so popular that we made T-Shirts and stickers of the above BSM logo to commemorate the event!
I also wrote an article for parents that day (from this link):
Parenting from the Couch: How to Maximize Control Without Sacrificing Your Comfort
An Original Article by Pastor Jon
Parenting has never been harder than it is right now. Students have been stuck at home for two weeks, and they’re starting to run out of things to watch on Netflix and Disney+. Even worse, private and public schools are moving to online formats, possibly until the end of this school year. So now, on top of being the legal guardian for your student, now you have to work with them to be their teacher. Remember all those times when you thought your friends who homeschooled were a little crazy? Welcome to your new reality.
I’m here to tell you that parenting doesn’t have to be as inconvenient as you’re making it out to be. You truly can parent without leaving your couch or your bed, AND you can maximize control over your student so that they do exactly what you say (but not as you do, of course). Here are 5 tips to “Maximize Control Without Sacrificing Your Comfort”:
1. Let other institutions, such as your church, raise your kids on your behalf. You have invested so much time and money into your teenager, many of you even went through the process of birthing them. It’s time for others to take a turn. That’s what the church’s youth ministry is for. Pastor Jon and Jr. High Director Jonah have taken LOTS of courses at seminary about parenting. Surely they know exactly what they’re doing and can raise your kids for you. After all, who wouldn’t want their kid to turn out like Jonah?
2. Utilize Technology to Your Advantage. Go ahead, give your kids access to screens, just make sure you download apps that limit their access to content that you don’t want them to see. After all, there’s no way your tech-savvy teenager could find a way around that restricted access. Be sure to never monitor how much time they spend on their device or what they’re accessing. That’s what a search history is for
3. “Just Say Yes.” Remember that first job you had in customer service where your manager told you that “the customer is always right”? Well, same idea goes for parenting. Does your student want to drink 2 gallons of soda each day? Sure, he has a great metabolism! Does she want that brand new pair of shoes that she doesn’t really need? Say yes to that, as long as you can get it from Amazon (and don’t have to physically drive her anywhere). Giving your student whatever they want (as long as it doesn’t inconvenience you) will make living at home that much more peaceful. (P.S. Katelyn says this is great advice for husbands too).
4. Minimize Intentional Time Spent with Your Student. Ever heard of the proverb “absence makes the heart grow fonder”? Surely this applies to your relationship with your teenager! Going on vacation? Get your kids a separate room and have them bring their screens. Need to have a hard conversation, such as answering the question “where do babies come from?” Just find it on YouTube for them to watch! What could go wrong?
5. Be Sure to Establish a Strong Set of Rules That Correspond with Christian Ethics and Values, but Never Live Them Out Yourself. It’s really hard and uncomfortable to follow Jesus the way He has called us to! But you did that once already. At that one summer camp. Back when you were their age. You don’t have the energy or self discipline to follow Jesus like the way He called us to, but your teenager does! After all, weren’t all of Jesus’ disciples in their 20’s? Be sure you’re loud and stubborn about having your teen follow the rules, and invoke harsh discipline if they ever break those rules… ESPECIALLY if they’re just copying what you do. After all, the phrase “actions speak louder than words” only really applies if your words are gentle, loving, and softspoken. SPEAK OUT!
If you follow most of these tips, your time in quarantine with your students is going to be so so sweet. Hope your couch is comfy! You’ll be there for a while!
Just two weeks into the pandemic, our students and families were stressed and feeling isolated, so this little bit of April Fools humor went a long way.
With the way this year has gone, could you use a little bit of humor in your life?