|

Put the Past in the Past

The issue:
Schools must do their best to separate problems they had with parents in the past from current relationships, and work hard not to perpetuate negative family images. Parents can also move forward when they don't let the baggage of past events get in the way of future successes.

The solution:
In the field of medicine, a doctor may not agree with the political views of a particular patient, but she has a professional obligation to do her very best job to heal or save the patient. Teachers have this same sense of obligation when dealing with families who have been hard to deal with in the past. Teachers and other professionals need to minimize the extent to which past negative dealings with a parent affect their current work with a family.

This is especially important with parents of children with special needs, who must readjust to the impact of the handicapping condition every time the child faces new challenges and responsibilities. This can result in what has been called "chronic sorrow," and teachers may be on the receiving end of some very bad feelings on the part of parents. They must be prepared to take some of this "grief" from families, and help them come to terms with the underlying concerns they have about their child.

Kids (and their parents) deserve a fresh start. Professional teachers understand this. They work hard not to prejudice their thinking about a child or his or her family, even if they have had some negative interactions in the past. Parents need to give teachers a chance, too. Sometimes, parents may hear something about a teacher that makes them wonder if that person will be the best teacher for their child. But the fact that one family had a conflict with a particular teacher does not mean that you will as well. When parents show their support for a teacher, and resist the temptation to pre-judge a teacher's ability to do his or her job well, things usually work out for the best. However, if there are chronic problems with a teacher, don't be shy about sharing your concerns with the principal.

Return to Building Bridges Between Home and School

More on: ADHD

|


highlights

Special Books for the Kids You Love
Celebrate 20 years of sharing love to the moon and back with the anniversary edition of Guess How Much I Love You, one of the world’s best-loved picture books. Plus, search our Book Finder for more great book picks. Brought to you by Candlewick Press.

Vote Now for the Children's & Teen Choice Book Awards
Voting is open now through May 3 for the Children's and Teen Choice Book Awards — the only national book awards program where the winning author, illustrator, and books of the year are selected by young readers. Encourage your child to vote for his favorites today!

Top 10 Math & Science Apps for Your Whiz Kid
Looking for the best math and science apps for kids? Check out these cool apps for all ages, which will grow your child's love of the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and math).

Registered for Kindergarten — Now What?
Wondering what to do now that you've signed your child up for kindergarten? Try our award-winning Kindergarten Readiness app! This easy-to-use checklist comes with games and activities to help your child build essential skills for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Facebook icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks