Emotional Care, Asking for Help
Asking For Help From School
Few things are scarier for a parent than when we do not know how to help our child. Advocating for your child is often a fatiguing task, so taking care of yourself physically and emotionally as much as you are able will support this task. Your child deserves support from the school. When asking for help from the school, you might use a graduated approach:
- Work with the teacher to share your concerns and hear their ideas. (Ideas for supporting the parent/teacher relationship during COVID 19).
- Seek resources from within the school and community connections.
- Be an advocate. Your child deserves to be supported, and you have a right to ask for help.
- Re-address if the support is lacking or ineffectual.
- This video details some ideas on asking for help.
Look Back To Move Ahead
Look back on your child’s education to search for ideas on what has and has not worked in the past. Include the classroom environment, the relationship with the teacher, subject matter connections and the presence of friends in the class. Put everything into two lists ‘helpful’ and ‘not helpful’. Use the list as a reference point when talking with the school.
Advocating For Your Child
Here are eight steps for advocating for your child in school along with a resource for being an advocate.
- Write down your thoughts, questions and concerns ahead of time.
- Share when you can be reached and the best method for doing so.
- Follow-up with a summary of the conversation.
- Focus on clarity by asking for specifics such as who can help and when they will do so.
- Ask for a follow-up time.
- Write down or record what you need and why.
- Share what interventions you have tried and how they have or have not helped.
Begin By Trying These Things
- Brainstorm or practice the conversation with someone you trust before contacting the school.
- Share something positive about your child and your goals with the teacher and ask the teacher to do the same.
- Remember, it is OK to show emotion when asking for help. Our children are like our hearts with legs out in the world; when they struggle, we feel it too.
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