If you have a child between the ages of 5-18, chances they are interacting and are influenced by people outside the home. Most often this is in some type of school environment. As their parents, we see needs, challenges, and strengths that are important for teachers and staff to know. Positive communication tools can help parents advocate for our children and support their teachers at the same time.
Open the lines of communication
Just like us, teachers don’t want to hear from parents only when things are not going well. Start by letting them know when something is working. Email a note about a success your child have in school. Send a note thanking them for a lesson your child really enjoyed.
Be mindful of communicating anything that might help your child succeed. This can be such things as life changes that are taking place at home, worries, or special learning needs.
Pause and Collect Information
When a challenge comes up, pause before responding. Take time to collect your thoughts. Ask questions to understand what is working and not working before communicating with the teacher. Often I have an emotional reaction when my kid is not ok. Rather than communicate out of fear, frustration, or anger, I have learned to pause. I collect information first. With more information and calmer emotions, I can better communicate in positive ways.
Be on the Same Team
Educating your child is a team effort. And most likely everyone on that team wants to see your child succeed. When you facing a behavioral or academic challenge, consider the team perspective. Approach the school staff with openness and curiosity to their experience and perspective. Ask good questions, show respect, and take responsibility for your part in the solution. Nobody is perfect and sometimes it takes multiple approaches before a solution is reached.
Positive communication between teachers and parents is not always an easy thing, but it can be a game changer for the success of your child!
Want more? Check out our online parenting classes for knowledge and tools to bring more peace to your home. And make sure to join our Facebook Group for more conversation around positive communication and other parenting tools.