ways to handle conflicts with your childs school

Stay positive! Be careful not to undermine the teacher’s authority. Even if you’re feeling negative toward the teacher, try not to let your child know that.

Listen carefully. In order to get the facts straight, ask your child open-ended questions, then follow up by asking for specific examples that tell you what you’re dealing with. Is it a personality conflict? An academic problem? He may just need to get his frustration off his chest. Sharing with you may help him put the situation in perspective.

Brainstorm solutions together. Your child may have some ideas and opinions about what she, the teacher, or you can do to fix the problem. Soliciting her input will show her that her thoughts are valued, and forging a plan together may help her be more receptive to possible solutions.

Observe the situation. If the conflict seems to originate from the teacher, get as much information as you can before scheduling a meeting with her. Question other parents whose children are or were in the teacher’s class for their input. While your child’s complaints may be legitimate, he may be struggling with a different teaching style or longing to move into a class with his friends.

Talk to the teacher. Ask for the teacher’s evaluation of the situation and suggestions on how your child could improve before you express your concerns. Posing questions and avoiding accusations will yield the best results.

Connect with the classroom. Volunteering time or keeping in regular contact with the teacher will help both of you understand each other and communicate better. When the teacher does make an extra effort with your child, send him a note or call to express your appreciation.