Let’s face it! A Parent/Teacher Conference due to problem behaviors at school can leave parents feeling #frustrated, #gut-wrenching, #parentfailure. Let me help you shift that dread to a feeling of opportunity and optimism.
No matter how you, the parent, did in school today is a brand new ballgame! We have to keep up with electronic portals, group texts from schools, busy and overscheduled lives. Whew! Parents, teachers, and students can be in a whirlwind together.
In a previous blog, I talked about keeping the People, Places Routines, and Rituals as stable as possible. These stabilizing factors can help get everyone back on track academically and mentally. So let’s talk about how to for a partnership between parents and teachers.
Prepare for the meeting
Instead of feeling like you are being “called into the principal’s office” and revisiting possible childhood memories, view the parent/teacher conference as an archeological expedition. You will be digging around for facts and information and sharing resources. You will be part of a team following clues that will lead to the treasure. Be prepared with your questions and facts that can be added to what the teacher sees to create a bigger picture. This is a good way to see not only the challenges but the successes experienced by your child. The treasure will be the strategies you uncover that help your child succeed.
In the meeting
Be open-minded about the strategies you and the teacher will discuss. You may ask for clarification about routines in the class, expectations for behavior of students, and ways to reinforce expectations. The school years are the prime opportunity for children to learn about Logical Consequences.
WHEN homework is left on the kitchen table THEN there is a zero in the gradebook. The goal is for children to have internal control over their behavior and learn to function without constant reminders. If adults constantly remind children and are effectively the child’s “external memory” then the child has no need to exercise their own memory power. Logical consequences can be enforced at home, too
Discuss short term goals with the teacher. These can include daily routines and weekly expectations. Also, discuss the best way for the adults to communicate. Everyone tends to be busy so making an agreement about the method and frequency of the progress check-ins.
After the meeting
Breathe! You still have all your arms and legs! It is important that your child understands that you and the teacher are on the same page and share the same expectations for positive change or continued success. It is NOT the time to get mad and express your disappointment in the child all over again. Having a positive outlook is infectious! Speak it into being! “I know we can handle this situation. You care capable of being successful.” Lovingly state the realistic expectations for the next grade period and how you will support the child in their success. Being consistent in the family routines can help reinforce good study habits. Celebrate the small “wins” through verbal affirmations and positive encouragement. Ultimately, the collaborative process between the parent, teacher, and child will teach valuable life skills that are useful throughout life.
If you need help establishing helpful family routines to promote academic success and social and emotional wellness, please call me.
Also, if you are interested in learning more about individual, couple, family therapy, or supervised parent/child time please call me for a 15 minute consultation 940-222-8703 Ext.
705. To schedule an appointment online click on “Dr. Pam”. Also, our therapists routinely assist in communications between parents and schools. We attend ARDS, talk with teachers, observe in class or childcare setting. Flier-Child-Care-Observations.pdf We even have instruments that combine input from teachers and parents into a comprehensive report that can assist in identifying problem areas.