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Facing up to Problems

From time to time, children do things that we wish they hadn’t. Sometimes these things happen in school and this can be embarrassing, especially as you think it reflects badly on you, your family and your ability as a parent.


No one likes to think badly of their children but, you know what?, kids are kids and sometimes they mess up. It's natural. Don’t over-react, and don’t over-react if the school is over-reacting! The main thing is making sure that if there’s a problem it doesn’t happen again.


Above all, don’t run away from your responsibilities. Don’t put off replying to the school if they say there’s a problem, hoping that it will go way by itself. Contact the school, listen to what they see as the problem and ask what evidence there is that there’s a problem. Thank them for taking the time to sort the problem out and say that you’ll speak to your child about it to find out their side of the story. Do so in a calm manner, explaining the evidence you’ve been given.


Be fair and realistic in your response. Sometimes schools get it wrong, and sometimes they get it right. If your child has done something wrong give an appropriate punishment, get the agreement of your child that it won’t happen again and get them to apologise. If however your child denies the wrongdoing, and the evidence that the school has given is not conclusive, explain that politely to the school.


If there is a case to answer, ask the school how they can support you in making sure that it doesn’t happen again.

Remember, what might seem a small problem to you can in fact be quite a problem in a classroom. Quick witted, comic remarks might seem harmless to a parent, and quite often are. But if they happen too frequently they can be a constant source of minor disruption to the rest of the class that can really have a negative impact on learning and achievement.


Try to see complaints from the other person’s point of view.


Above all, keep calm.