Is Your Child Dealing with Difficulties in School? – 3 Ways You Can Provide Support
Getting “the” phone call that your child is experiencing difficulties in school might be last on your list of phone calls you’d love to receive.
In all reality, that particular phone call can go way beyond a simple conversation with your child’s teacher. For some, it could bring back memories of their own school experiences. Especially, if they were negative ones.
Nevertheless, the way you handle this particular situation could either set your child up for success or hinder their progress.
When your child is having difficulties in school, consider the following three ways you can provide support to them.
1. Focus on the Right Person
As mentioned before, getting a phone call from your child’s teacher could bubble up unexpected emotions.
Therefore, the temptation is generally to take a victim’s stance and get upset at the school or your child’s teacher. Especially if negativity surrounds your own relationship with the school.
Perhaps you struggled with academics or experienced your own difficulties in school. Getting the notorious call may remind you of being in school all over again.
Although these emotions are natural, it’s important to challenge them. Keep in mind that your child is the focus right now. Rather than ruminate on how it makes you feel or take sides, commit yourself to be a supportive and insightful parent.
Focusing on your child—putting all your personal experiences to the side—is the way you will provide the support they need.
2. Establish Your Allies
Once you’ve dedicated yourself to focusing on the right person, it’s also time to establish your allies. Meaning, align yourself with your child’s school. Doing so will give your child the best chance at success.
Playing on the same team or fighting for the same cause is the goal. And you can make it happen by taking strategic steps.
When your child is having difficulties in school and the teacher has informed you, meetings will undoubtedly follow. So, attend those parent/teacher meetings dedicated to an offensive stance.
Put your heads together to identify any problems. Work as a team to brainstorm solutions. And have an open mind on what’s really going on in your child’s classroom of 20 or more kids.
Then, stay in touch with your child’s teacher and follow up on progress. Tweak your game plan and communicate openly and honestly.
If for some reason you’re not finding a positive connection with the teacher, find someone else to talk to like a guidance counselor, coach, or even the principal.
3. Do the Work
Lastly, it’s critical for you to put your nose to the grindstone and work with your child every single day. Follow up with them on homework assignments or, if possible, sit with them as they complete their homework each night.
While none of these steps are easy, this is possibly the hardest part to stick with. After all, few people like to be glued to a textbook every night.
But keep your end goal in sight. If you’re positive about the journey towards your child’s success in school, it will be easier for your child to get on board as well.
Remember, it’s not up to you to actually do their homework or hover as they work through the problems. You’re there to provide support should they get stumped and serve as an accountability buddy. It’s a “we’re in this together” sort of approach.
Your child experiencing difficulties in school is by no means a stamp of disapproval, a dead end, or an indictment for their future. Think of it more like a bump in the road. To safeguard your child’s overall well-being and their academic success, do your best to provide the support they need to overcome the rough spot.
Being a parent is often confusing, sometimes complicated, and never easy. But a therapist can support you while you support your child. For more information about how I can help, visit my page on parenting skills counseling or send me a message HERE.