Conflicts with teachers are a normal part of growing up. Your son
can learn some invaluable life skills by trying to work out this
problem. Tell him that, of course, you'll support him in any way you
can, but make it clear that you expect him to work out this problem
with his teacher. Here's what to do:
son's feelings. Find out as much as you can about why he seems
to be having problems with this teacher in particular. Listen
seriously to what he tells you. You might even take notes -- but
remember that there are two sides to every problem.
Tell your son to
schedule a meeting with the teacher. He may find out that the
problem stems from a simple misunderstanding. Or the problem may
be that he's not turning in all his assignments for her class.
If the problem
appears to be more serious, you may want to attend the meeting,
Be sure the
teacher knows you're there to talk about ways to work things out
together. Be open and honest. Often, you can solve the problem
just by talking about it.
Be supportive of
your son -- but let the teacher know you understand that
teaching is a difficult job.
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Tell your son you understand that he has a problem with this
teacher, but reinforce the importance of working out problems. You
might also talk about times in your life when you had to get along
with a difficult boss or a difficult neighbor.
It's OK to let him complain a little at home, but let him know
how proud you are that he's working things out. Reinforce your trust
in his ability to handle the situation. Your son will gain
independence and some valuable people skills by working through this
problem. (After he turns in those missing assignments, she may even
become one of his favorite teachers!)
For more information about helping
children learn or to submit your own question, go to
http://advisor.parent-institute.com. All questions will receive
a prompt answer by e-mail.
Copyright 2005, The Parent Institute
"Ask the Learning Advisor -- Ideas for Raising Successful
Children" is a free, syndicated column from the Parent Institute.