How can you handle complaints of your children at school?
At some point during your child’s schooling, you are likely to receive a complaint regarding either her behaviour or her performance and thus they, in turn, start complaining about school.
Many parents tend to respond to teachers’ complaint by being argumentative or start blaming the problem at the teacher’s professional skills or attitude based on children’s complaints.
However, in most cases, if a teacher sees a problem in your child, the best thing to do, would be to support her in helping your child overcome the issue.
Interaction between parents and teachers is crucial for sorting out problems with children at all stages, from pre-school to teenage. The parental intervention will go a long way in helping children to correct themselves and proceed in achieving their potential.
The intervention will depend on the age of the child and the problem too. Here are a few common issues that teachers face with different age group children.
Common problems relating to a child’s conduct in class are:
• Disrupting the class
All these behaviours affect not only the child but the teacher’s work too; therefore, they affect the class as a whole.
Though disruptive behaviour is rarely encountered in a pre-schooler, being non-attentive and idling can be a problem even in the early years, and if not attended promptly, it will affect a child’s progress when he becomes a teenager.
Talk to the teacher and find out exactly what the issue is and ask her how she can help you in making things better. At this stage, the problem is likely to be quickly sorted out rather than at a later stage.
Preteens: Don’t ignore even a small complaint either by the teacher or by your child. The problem might be either with your child or sometimes also with the teacher.
Meet the teacher and understand the issue and also talk to your child in a friendly way, and find out what prompts the problematic behaviour. Once you identify the cause, then work on the cause and help them to tackle the issue.
Teens: This is a tricky phase. Where students may or may not cooperate with the teacher. So don’t hesitate to show that you back up the teacher, while also trying to understand why the child is behaving badly.
‘Low marks again!’ is among the most common complaints that parents hear from their child’s teacher. The problem has to be dealt with utmost diligence and care, as it can harm the child on many levels because at that age they don’t practically understand things.
Poor communication and social skills: Lack of communication skills and sociability will lead to lack of self-motivation and self-confidence.
In pre-school, keep your toddler busy with activities and engage him in conversation about what he does. This will strengthen his communication skills.
Preteens: At this stage, it is best to enrol your child in club activities at the school, with the guidance from the teacher. It could be a Reading Club or a Drama Club, this will improve their communication skills.
Teens: At this point of life, children don’t listen to parents, so request the teacher to involve your child in extra-curricular activities in the school, like dramatics, team sports and story-telling.
Get your child into the habit of reading the newspaper and using a dictionary from childhood. It will build their vocabulary, and thus will give them the confidence to communicate and cultivate social skills.
The common factor in all these complaints, across age-groups, is the need for parents to work with teachers in helping their child to overcome undesirable behaviour and speed, on the road to success.
How can you help your child:
Understand their emotions: Explain to your child that social problems at school are the most common and not very difficult. Understand their emotions and try to talk and solve it.
Be Proactive: Tell them that your child can’t make someone like him, but he has to accept variations in different people and get along with them by calling them for an after-school or by signing up for an activity that interests them, like karate, so that he can connect with like-minded kids.
Give him space: Commonly, children hate school. When your kid yells that he hates school, it is disconcerting. Before you react, let them calm down with a snack and some TV. Later, quietly invite a talk saying “I heard what you said before and I’m wondering what’s making you feel that way.” Try to find out the root cause for dislike and work on it.
Fix what you can: Try to help pinpoint specific problems that your child is unable to figure out so that he can think of solutions, like dropping an elective to ease a too-packed schedule, focus on the positive, too. Ask what he enjoys about school.
By dealing with complaints of your children calmly with patience can help you and your child to solve the problem that crops up at school easily.