What to do when your Child’s Teacher calls you!
No parent wants to get that call.. at least the one that says Mr./Mrs.… I think there’s a problem! If you are a parent who has had to walk this journey, there are some points to keep in mind. As difficult as it is to remain objective, you must do so for the sake of your child. Don’t be quick to become a frustrated parent.
DO’ s and DON’TS
Firstly, it’s a good practice to reflect on your own experiences and expectations with the school system and its educators. What were your experiences growing up? What are your expectations of your child during these critical years? How important is academic and social success to you as a parent today? Are you already a frustrated parent? Our own experiences and expectations of the school system and its educators can cloud our judgement and render us ineffective when looking to assist our own children who may be truly struggling.
We find that there are generally two types of parental responses to the statement “I think there’s a problem. One is a defensive, super-sensitive parent who feels judged and quick to rebut “It’s your job to fix the child”, I am doing everything in my power… what else do you want me to do! The second response is the overly apologetic parent who almost feels guilty and ashamed of the teacher’s experience with the child and responds with “Oh, I’m so sorry… I had no idea.. I’ll speak to him/her and I promise to make things right. This parent asks very little questions, and assumes it’s solely his/ her responsibility to support the child.
Both of these positions are problematic. The belief that it’s the educator’s responsibility to fix the academic and emotional issues with your child is erroneous. On the other hand, the belief that “its’ solely a parent’s problem to help their child “is equally faulty.
At the end of the day, it’s a balance of the school and parents working together for the best interests of the child. The system, teachers and parents all bring a wealth of knowledge that when pooled and sorted through, can yield some great results for the child- who is the most important piece… LET”S NOT FORGET THAT!
So let’s say that you do trust your educators and the system that they work in, and you get that call from the teacher who is telling you to “There`s a problem”. What does that mean? Notice your emotions: Is your heart racing because of worry? Are you mad? Are you sad because this is the tenth time that they have called, and you don’t know what they expect from you? All of these ideas race around our minds when we get that call, and it often it brings us back to our own personal experiences. Stop, and breathe. You have an important role here. Be your child’s advocate, and yes, you know what is best for your child. Definitely, you will need to respond to the teacher’s call and trust yourself. Be prepared with the right questions to ask when that time comes.
The only hindrance to moving forward is your attitude. Expect teachers to get frustrated. You get frustrated. Why don’t you expect them to? Teachers are frustrated and parents are frustrated! Understand it’s all part of the process of working with children. However, once you get to talking, and you are briefed on what the teacher has been experiencing, ask for their honest opinion. “Do you think my child needs special help? Have faith in the educator and expect them to give you an honest answer.
If you get the answer “Yes” I do think you need to seek help for your child, do not take this personally. This is not a personal attack against you or your child. Distressing as it may be, you’ve now been empowered with new information. Put your efforts into finding a provider that can assist your child. Don’t make your child feel bad about needing help. Many times, children who seek help as a result of struggling in any particular area end up surpassing their peers because they were able to seek the extra help that they needed. If the teacher was overreacting you’ll quickly find out once your child starts seeing that specialist.
WE CAN HELP!
Teachers may be frustrated when they make that call, but they are looking for help, strategies, and someone to follow-through (like you!). Working together always creates the most success.
If your educator has said your child needs special attention to address issues such as aggression, anxiety, conflict management, shyness, ADHD, learning disabilities, depression etc., Positive Kids can assist you. Give ” us a call to receive a confidential consultation to assess whether we can “help you help your child.”