Using conversations to create a safe space and advocate
As the first week of school approaches, I remind myself that I need to be intentional with the conversations that I am having with my children. Teaching your children to trust their feelings about their teachers, classmates, and school is important. A few questions that I ask to help facilitate these conversations are listed below:
1) How do you like school?
2) How do you feel about your classmates?
3) What do you like most about school?
4) When you do something that your teacher does not like what do they do?
5)What are three things that you did today in school?
Consistently asking these questions as the school year progresses, allows me to identify challenges that my children are experiencing with learning, peers, instructors, and assess if they are retaining information presented to them during the day. I can identify issues that I can discuss with their instructor at a parent-teacher conference or back-to-school night. Keeping the lines of communication open with your children can be the difference between de-escalating an issue before things spin out of control and having to do "damage control". I do not encourage parents to diminish their child's feelings. When a child expresses frustration, anger, or fear, we should always listen, validate that they feel how they feel, and ask for more details (this helps us provide a more objective perspective to our child about the situation). If the problem is too complex for you to solve, consider speaking with the school's counselor or pediatric counselor to support your success in problem-solving.
While writing this post, I stumbled across an article from Cleveland Clinic about discussing issues your child may be having with their instructor. I will post the link below:
(I do not own the rights to Cleveland Clinic's post but I do suggest that you read it).
Author: Alita-Geri Carter, MSN, RN, CPNP-PC
Cleveland Clinic. (2020, October 2). What to do when your child doesn't like their teacher. Cleveland Clinic. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/what-to-do-when-your-child-doesnt-like-their-teacher/.