posted in Parenting
Aside from getting a pap smear and dusting light fixtures, confronting anyone about anything is my least favorite thing in life.
I’m your Type A people-pleaser. But that changes when you have kids. The stakes are suddenly so high and you can’t help but confront people.
It’s just incredibly hard to do. I get so anxious and worked up about it beforehand. I practice the dialogue 100 different times in my head. And then right before it’s supposed to happen I panic and consider aborting the entire mission.
I knew there would be times in my children’s education when I would have to confront their teachers about things. I just didn’t anticipate it would happen as early as preschool.
But one day, my son came home from school upset because his teacher called him “weird.”
Now, my son doesn’t lie — not about things like that. I could tell he genuinely hurt about it. At first, I was incredulous. How could she say that to him? Then I had another thought: that doesn’t sound like her at all.
I knew I had to confront her and clear up this whole thing, but how? I didn’t want to offend her or make her think I didn’t trust her. But I also couldn’t let this slide because my son was truly heartbroken.
So I asked my teacher friends for their best advice about bringing an issue to a teacher’s attention. And this is what they said:
Never assume blame.
Approach situations with an open mind that maybe they were just a miscommunication.
Trust the teacher’s dedication.
It’s true some teachers really hate their job and don’t enjoy it. But most teachers actually love it. They are dedicated to helping your kid learn and they’ll do whatever it takes to help them.
Always come with an open mind.
The truth is, we never know the whole story when our kids are coming home telling us something. It’s our job to investigate.
You have to be an advocate for your child.
No matter what, you should always bring up issues with your kid’s teacher and keep an open line of communication. Teachers want you to be an advocate for your child.
They’ve probably heard it before.
What feels really strange and awkward to you is probably par for the course with your child’s teacher. They’ve seen it all and dealt with similar issues before.
So taking all of this advice, and full of nervous energy, I approached my son’s teacher. I told her that he was really upset because he thought he heard her call him a name. She was immediately apologetic and friendly.
Instead of getting defensive and angry about an accusation like that, she pulled my son in, hugged him and told him she did not say that word because it’s not kind. She apologized for the misunderstanding.
I left the school that day breathing a huge sigh of relief. I was so worked up about this interaction and it was over in a matter of minutes.
What’s been your experience when approaching your kid’s teachers about issues like this?