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© Gail Underwood Parker

Monday, November 7, 2011

School Bell: Confronting a Problem

Most of the time when you ask your children how school went the answer will be "Fine" or "Ok" or something like that.  Most of the time it will even be true.  But what about the times they grumble an "I don't want to talk about it" or burst into tears?  Sooner or later you may be in that situation.

When things don't go swimmingly at school your child [and your child's teacher] need to know that you are willing to tackle the tough stuff. It may be a playground bully today.  Or a bus driver whose scolding scared your child.  Hopefully you and your child have already talked about how to handle school challenges, and the steps of involving people such as a trusted teacher. Hopefully your child already knows that you are always willing to hear what they have to say and to talk about problems they are having.

Next step is that if your child has shared a concern with you, chances are you should bring it up to the teacher!  Even if you think the child may be overreacting or misunderstanding, it is often helpful to have the teacher know what the child's perceptions are as most likely it is affecting their attitudes and performance and comfort at school.... always a concern of teachers. Start doing it early and when your child is older the ground work will be laid.  Don't wait until your child is in a dilemma over a cheating request, or seeing a child threatening another, or overhearing something that hints at a dangerous situation.
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