Afraid to Call a Parent

Discussion in 'New Teachers Archives' started by melesc, Aug 31, 2005.

  1. melesc

    melesc New Member

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    Aug 31, 2005


    This is my 3rd day of first grade, and Im already needing to call a parent about their very rude and disruptive child. Yesterday was her first day, and when her parent introduced her, she curtsied. I was a little surprised at first, yet, a little suspicious of what type of personality I was going to be dealing with. Today was her second day and she asks to go to the bathroom every 10-20 minutes, and at one time she was in their for 10 minutes. She is making the other students that sit near her very uncomfortable with her rudeness and her snide remarks to them. I had to take away her "grown up" lipstick because it was distracting the other kids. She repeatedy has argued with me when I catch her in the act of breaking classroom rules. Needlessly to say, she is not making my days easy. She is in :angel: such need of some discipline, love, and attention from her family. I am reluctant to call her parents because Im afraid of them being the type that see's no wrong in their child. Im thinking of starting off by asking the parent if she may have a medical problem that makes it necessary for her to use the bathroom so much. What other approaches can I take when I call? Please advise. Thanks for listening!
     
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  3. ViolaSwamp

    ViolaSwamp Habitué

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    Sep 1, 2005

    I had a boy who also went to the bathroom a lot and came in late for every recess. I put him up front and gave him a job as my helper. He loved it. He needed the attention and chance to get up and move around. If he'd gone to the bathroom he would have missed out on helping me. I would give it a try. She is attempting to gain power (over other students) and probably desires friendship. Giving her a job will give her the feelings for both (only from you). When you call home make sure you "sandwich" the bad behavior between postive remarks. I think you are right to ask first. They will feel like you want their help. My parent immediatly made excuses for her son even though I don't think she thought that was the problem. I think that was because instead of asking about a problem, I complained about it (I was a student teacher). Mainly she was concerned her son would have a teacher who disliked her child--how she'd perceived his previous teacher. You want the parent to know that you care about the child and would like to be their ally. Ask if they have any ideas. This mom suggested that he could get more computer time at home if he only went to the bathroom once in the a.m. and once in the p.m. That and making him my helper completely and immediatly removed the problem. Hope it helps.
     
  4. CrazyS2005

    CrazyS2005 Rookie

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    Sep 1, 2005

    Well, I'm not a teacher, but I think I might be able to help if you want to listen.

    First, I believe I'd wait at least 5 days the kid has been in school to give them time to adjust. If the rude behavior still continues, I would then give the parents a call. I wouldn't come right out and say "Does your child have a problem with the bathroom?". I think I would mention her attitude and rudeness, then say "Also, your child asks to use the bathroom a lot during the day, sometimes she spends more than 5 to 10 minutes in there, does she have a problem by needing to use the bathroom frequently?"

    I'm sure the parents would be understanding in your concern for their child. However, I know some parents think their child is an angel, and they are causing no one any harm.
     
  5. melesc

    melesc New Member

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    Sep 1, 2005

    I am taking your advice. Your right. She needs to feel important, and I think giving her a job will help. Thank you!!!
     
  6. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Sep 1, 2005

    CrazyS2005 gave good advice about waiting to let her settle into the routine. Do not argue with her. Tell her what is going to happen and that is it.
    If and when you call the parents make sure you start with a positive remark about their child. Just one little good thing she does. There has to be something. This will take the edge off and they won't be as defensive. Then address the problems and again end with something nice about their child.
    Good luck keep us posted!
     
  7. TeachGrd1

    TeachGrd1 Rookie

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    Sep 2, 2005

    I would wait until Monday or Tuesday and if the problem is still occuring, then send a note home that must be signed and returned. Give it another day or two and if it is still going on call the parent. Sometimes, parents feel overwhelmed if they get a phone call without proper warning. The note home will give the parents time to adjust to your statements and it should help avoid confrontation. I bought carbonless notes that contain two copies, so you always have proof of what you wrote.
     
  8. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Sep 3, 2005

    That is an even better idea! I wrote home daily for the last two years. I always started with something good the child did that day, then told the naughty part, and ended with something good again. I never had a complaint from any of the parents. Actually they all wanted me to work with their child again, this year. But I left that school and am at a new one.
     
  9. wolfster

    wolfster Rookie

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    Sep 3, 2005

    I'm new to teaching, and heck I may even be posting a "what do I do" once I meet my students in the next few weeks, but this is something that may help you...

    My current school (well, at least during the orientation) has stressed team approaches to students (i.e., several specialists such as a psychologist, grade supervisor, along with teachers). Other resources that have been suggested are previous year teachers. Anyway, I've already been told to go to previous teachers - have them look at my list quickly and offer suggestions (i.e., don't put Sally next to Bobby).

    Any, related to your problem, I was going to suggest that you may want to talk to the student's previous teacher - did the student do this last year? Did any particular behavioral modifications work? If the child has a medical condition, does the school nurse have this on record - bladder problem, ADHD, etc. (you may want to look at this list as it is, in case you have a student with a serious medical condition in your class). Anyway, other faculty members/staff may provide you with insight and helpful suggestions.

    I also agree with the above suggestions, give this kid a few days to adjust.

    Good luck.
     
  10. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    I agree with writing a note so the parent is not caught off guard by your phone call. I sent a note home for one of my new children . It begins with stating that I think their child is very intelligent and lots of fun to have in my class. Then comes the "problem." I end the note by asking for their advice and support so that their child can progress and have a successful year...in preparation for the next grade level. I expect to hear from them on Monday, as I send home a Friday folder and they are to return it to me on Monday.
     
  11. teacherece

    teacherece Cohort

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    Sep 3, 2005

    I agree with others here. Usually when a child is disruptive, it's because they need attention. I'd go along with the helper thing. I would make sure I document everything and build up a case, just for future reference. Also, you may want to start an individual system for her to earn a reward for being quiet. There is no need for her to go to the br for 10 minutes. Good luck with your class this year and your "busy" little girl.
    :)
     
  12. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    She is not lacking in attention. Her parents are very involved in her life(she is an only child) and the grama is very involved in her life. They let her have her way and say, "Oh honey it's o.k. that you knocked those glass vases off the shelves in Daytons Glassware Dept...come on now, it's O.K." She has no consequences....
     
  13. paperheart

    paperheart Groupie

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    Sep 3, 2005

    Children want boundaries. They truly thrive when there is an established set of rules that they must follow. Work on enforcing the rules and give it a few days.

    I don't know if this would work in your case but in 4th grade I sometimes use the celphone technique. If the kid continues to be rude and disrespectful I tell them they will be calling their parent on my celphone with the next infraction. I got as far as storing one student's number into my celphone and that literally made the student cry out of fear that the next step would be the phone call. For 3 days now his behavior has been wonderful. I am sure there will be a day when he needs to call and when that happens, he is the one to call and tell his parents that he has misbahaved. In the past, the child usually starts crying and I have to take over so the parent knows the whole story.


    Whatever the consequence, make sure it "hurts" that particular child to receive it. Sometimes it takes awhile to figure that out. Frankly, I think a lot of teachers make the mistake of analyzing the child's homelife and justifying the bahavior. When you do that you are simply making excuses for the child and lowering the standards for that child. Every child can behave and show respect. And be sure to offer lots of positive rewards for the flip side.

    I also make sure to spend one-on-one time with the offending child. This works wonders. i.e. I played pick-up sticks for 5 minutes with the child I talked about above and I let the other students work independently for 10 minutes so I could read and reteach with an ADHD child whose mom temporarily can't afford his meds. THis gives me leway and I really think the child figures out that your not "all bad" which has been a powerful force in getting them to behave.

    sorry for the long reply. hope it helps.

    Alicia :)
     
  14. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Sep 3, 2005

    Alicia, I agree with you. All children can behave and we cannot make excuses because of their home life. I know that their home life does affect them , but I am not asking for this child to do anymore than show some respect for other people. It is a skill or quality she will need to survive successfully in life and she has to learn it when she is very young or it will be too late. I spend plenty of time praising and smiling and playing with her other times of the day. She gets hugs from me and I model manners for her and we have many talks as a group in our circle time . She does know she misbehaving. I can't believe this hasn't been thoroughly addressed before now...it is so much work to pick up the pieces. As far as the phone threats, I have used them in the past with parents who would actually respond . This one would say, "Oh honey, it's o.k. that you threw those beans in your little friends face. We'll talk about it when you get home."
     
  15. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Also, parents do waaaaaaaay too much time talking...what they need is a little action on their part.
     

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