*Vent* As a parent with a child who has behavior issues

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by cutNglue, Oct 15, 2011.

  1. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Oct 15, 2011

    As a parent who has a child with behavior issues, I find dramatic differences in how schools and teachers deal with my child. In another thread SCteachinTX says all teachers at some point have difficult students but it is how teachers respond and handles these challenges that can make a difference. I see evidence of this every year.

    Advice:

    Sensitive Language/Avoid Judgments
    Be sensitive to the language you are using to describe my child. I would rather hear about the behaviors you are seeing than words that denote judgment such as manipulative, liar, lazy, etc.

    Building Rapport
    If you really can't think of anything nice about my child that doesn't come across as forced or superficial, it is likely you haven not worked on getting to know much child as an individual rather than as a problem. If I can sense it, I guarantee he can too. He's likely not going to work for you as well as he might otherwise. This may sound a little too harsh but I see it all too often. Consider working on your relationship with the child first. He has to feel safe and have a connection with you before his defenses can come down.

    Different Strokes for Different Folks
    Please remember, it's not about asserting YOUR authority or cookie cutter approaches he MUST follow. It's about learning about HIS needs and doing what you can to bring his skills up to a new level so he can learn and progress. Find ANOTHER way. Don't be too rigid in your thinking. Seek alternative solutions. Find out what has worked in the past. Hold him accountable but do it in a way that supports him and find ways to minimize incidents and de-escalates situations and at the same time teaches him coping skills he needs.

    Work WITH Parents
    "Recognize that your students’ parents are the experts on their children. They might not have a background in education, child development, or teaching students with special needs, but when it comes to the child as a whole, the parents are the experts. Listen to what they have to say, share your own observations and work together as equals with a common goal (the success of the children)." (quoted from mmsm on a different thread).

    Communicate with Parents FREQUENTLY
    I can't stress this enough. Communicate positive stuff early so when something negative comes up, I'm more likely to believe you LIKE my child and have his best interest in mind. Make sure your positives are not fluff. I can tell the difference. Make sure your positives tell me what skills he is being taught related to his issues and how he is progressing. Make sure his positives talk about OTHER things he is good at as well. Stories are good.


    WHAT A DIFFERENCE YOU CAN MAKE!
    Teachers and Admin, let me tell you... If you just saw the difference between how my child is approached from year to year, you would see the difference truly is 180 (not perfect but definitely miraculous). Sometimes I realize it can be hard. I am a teacher too. I know it will be a learning curve. First and foremost though, you have to have the right ATTITUDE. To those teachers who have produced the 180 results, you have my deepest gratitude!


    --It has been a frustrating week.
     
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  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Oct 16, 2011

    Hugs, cut.
     
  4. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Oct 16, 2011

    What a wonderful post, cut. Do I have your permission to share your words of advice with my staff?

    As a parent, how do you think that the school can go about repairing a strained relationship between home and school?
     
  5. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    Oct 16, 2011

    This is one of my BIG things. If we get parents on our side and let them see that we CARE about their child. We are an unstoppable team. We always have kids with behavioral issues. And yes, sometimes we can see WHY these children have these problems. And sometimes, the nicest parents have these children that they are totally unsure of what to do next. I mean how many toys, television times, play dates, parties, rewards, can you take away before you start to feel that your child is a TARGET?

    I had a challenging child. She was delightful. But she talked nonstop and was hyperactive.

    A great teacher would have found a way to motivate her and channel all her energy into positivity. A great teacher would have (and did) find that she was academically and creatively gifted.

    A good teacher would have understood her issues and would have worked with me to help her succeed.

    Another type of teacher that I will call Teacher C for lack of a better word, would isolate her, call her out for everything, make her feel stupid, unloved, and basically a target of her own misbehaviors.

    My daughter endured a lot. She enjoyed some of her school experiences and we just lived through the rest of them. She could have straight A's in one teacher's class that saw her a high potential as a gifted learner, and she would ALSO have D's and be labeled a troublemaker by another teacher.

    My beautiful, highly creative, verbal, extremely witty, well liked, very athletic, gifted, enthusiastic daughter is in college now doing just fine. She finally learned how to deal with people that don't understand her. She HATES the meds that she has to take to keep her focused but has learned that she has to do it in order to be successful. She has tons of friends, and a boyfriend that thinks she hung the moon.

    If you can make it past the tough teachers and let your child know that they ARE incredible despite what some teachers may say and do to them, they will excel in life. Being able to rise above what is happening and learning from any situation takes time. I have been there. I learned that sometimes I had to get proactive and ask for change when my daughter was getting a mental beat down every single day.

    And teachers, I DID understand that my daughter could be a real PAIN in your day. I did understand that she could blurt out something that really should not have been said. I did understand that she could be your biggest headache or your most loved student. She was so on and off during highschool! She was a cheerleader, on the school TV show, on the school newspaper, in clubs, etc. The girl was popular, energetic and COULD BE your biggest distractor on any given day.

    Folks we impact these kids. And I would like to say that I have always had a positive impact. But there have been times when I am sure that I could have handled a situation better. My goal is to learn from that experience and be a better person and teacher tomorrow.
     
  6. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Oct 16, 2011

    Mrs. C, you can not only freely share that bit of advice with anyone you choose, but you can also share stuff from this post (at least my words) http://forums.atozteacherstuff.com/showthread.php?t=152109. Just delete my username.

    The next part of your question is a really good one. Let me think on it more.

    The most obvious thing for me at this point, however, is the paragraph about communication. I've told this story many times on this board. The teacher that taught me the art of communication was his older brother's teacher. Sometime in October she emailed a cute anecdote about my child. It was so adorable! I immediately emailed her back with a sincere response. Then the next week I got another one! On average I got one a week. Some weeks I got two and some I got none, but they were pretty frequent. Then much later in the year (probably around March), he misbehaved. Normally I would scold my child, etc. but I remember genuinely wanting to HELP the teacher and boy he better go back and apologize to her because she's just great and loves you and cares about you. Okay, maybe a bit much but I remember the difference. As an aide, I took over communication for a teacher (with supervision) because I just knew parents would love this kind of thing. We got great responses. As a teacher, I got one parent who typically is one of our more demanding parents and she told me she and her husband both talked about it and agreed that out of her five children's teachers, I was the best one they've ever had. She said, it's because I made them feel included. Considering that the only time parents really physically participated was during field trips, I knew she was referring to these communications. Now as a parent of a special needs child, I NEED it even more.

    Edit to Add: SC, that's a really great post.
     
  7. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Oct 16, 2011

    CnG - that was a wonderful opening post and had such great advice for all teachers to follow. :thumb:
     

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