Here’s another “pointer” by Jim Fay of Love and Logic to help ensure your concerns as parents are clearly and fully heard and addressed by your child’ teachers and administrators.
How to Help Your Child’s Teacher “Hear” Your Concerns
By Jim Fay
There was a problem on the playground during recess today. Even though it involved only some of the classmates, the consequence for the entire class was the loss of recess for two days. Patty and Wanda were incensed.
“Most of us were being good! It’s just not fair for all of us to miss recess,” they told their mothers. “You need to call the teacher and make her change her mind,” they insisted.
Wanda’s mother went to the phone, and when the teacher answered said, “Punishing all the kids for what a few of them did just doesn’t make sense. You just need to handle this in a better way. Both Wanda and I think that this is totally unfair!”
Patty’s mother called the teacher and said, “I’d like to share what the girls have told me about the recess problem today and get your thoughts on it.”
I bet you know which mother’s concerns the teacher was more receptive to hearing and accepting.
I visited with this teacher. She told me that Wanda’s mother called first and that she immediately found herself being defensive about the situation. The call didn’t go well. The conversation she had with Patty’s mom went better.
She went on to say, “I didn’t feel defensive at all when Patty’s mom called. I liked her opening statement so well that I’m going to be using it in the future when I have to call parents about a problem.”
What was that opening statement? “I’d like to share what I’ve been hearing and get your thoughts.” It’s a surefire way to keep the other person from feeling attacked.
And by the way, I will be encouraging the staff and myself to keep this valuable insight in mind in our sharing of any concerns with all of you as well! We all need to do all we can with God’s help to keep the lines of communication open and the love flowing!
I will hear what God the Lord will say; for He will speak peace to His people… Psalms 85:8, NASU