Discussion in 'General Education' started by Backroads, Sep 23, 2020.

  1. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

    Apr 23, 2010
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    Sep 23, 2020

    Kind of had a weird call today with a parent. The purpose of the call was to talk to the student, see how they were doing, etc. The mom basically took over the call to talk about her problems. I tried to be supportive, build that relationship with the family, etc. The family is in full social distancing mode, so I think they be going a tad stir crazy. Yet she told me all this medical stuff. Hers, nothing pertinent to her student.

    How do you set boundaries on appropriate discussions with families?
    Tired Teacher likes this.
  3. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

    Jun 14, 2013
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    Sep 23, 2020

    Listen, and then redirect.

    “I’m so sorry to hear that. I know that it is a stressful time for a lot of families, handling health issues on top of online schooling too. I’m trying to keep things manageable for students because of that and I hope it’s going alright... it looks like Max is getting most of his work turned in on time and that’s good to see.”
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2020
  4. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Groupie

    Jul 31, 2019
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    Sep 24, 2020

    I am usually really good w/ boundaries, but last yr online learning, a custodial grandma dragged me way, way over that :) If we had been playing tug of war, I'd have been on my rear! It is hard b/c you have to build relationships, but there is a line. I think the line changes a bit w/ online learning too.
    It is smart you recognized it right away. I think it is OK to listen sometimes especially during this time. It is just showing compassion. Just don't let the parent continue to waste too much of your time.
    After weeks with the grandma, I stopped. I'd limit contact with her to 1x a day. ( I started emailing her instead of answering the phone.) I'd jot down the points if I needed to call or ask questions and set a timer. Then like Otter, you can listen a bit, restate, and redirect her. Good luck!
    bella84 and Backroads like this.
  5. MrTempest

    MrTempest Companion

    Mar 18, 2014
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    Sep 25, 2020

    Sometimes somebody just needs someone to genuinely listen. In today's world, we are connected so much more than we ever have, but even in that, communication has become so trivial and streamlined. Instead of responding genuinely, we think that simple "like" is sufficient. It may have been a burden on your time, but you need to realize you may have really helped someone out more than you know and that is very special.
  6. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

    Jul 20, 2012
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    Sep 26, 2020

    I was going to say something along these lines... Sometimes what is best for the student is to understand the depths of what is going on with the family. Unless it starts taking up too much of your time or crosses a line that makes you feel uncomfortable, I don't think it's a bad thing to let the mother tell you all about what the family is dealing with, even if it doesn't directly pertain to the student or school.
    MrTempest and Tired Teacher like this.

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