10 Things You Should Never Say to Your Kid's Teacher
By Woman's Day
By Woman's Day
3 hours ago
As a parent, you know that advocating for your child is in your job description. So when an issue arises with the person who's molding his or her young mind, you're going to speak up. But it's important to choose your words carefully. "As with anyone whose service you depend on, it's in your best interest to avoid coming off as too critical or demanding to your child's teacher," says Suzanne Tingley, a former teacher, principal and superintendent, and author of How to Handle Difficult Parents.
"Expressing your concerns in a neutral way usually leads to a more constructive conversation and a better outcome for your kid." Read on to learn which statements, however well-meaning, can land you in the "troublemaker" category. Photo by Thinkstock.
"My son says you don't give him enough time to finish his tests. I'd like to hear your side of the story."
Laying out the situation and asking for the teacher's "side" may seem like a diplomatic approach, but to the teacher it reads as an attack, followed by a twist of the knife. "The kicker is the second part because it suggests you are mediating between two equals, like siblings who can't get along," says Tingley. A better tactic: "Jake seems to be struggling with his tests. What are you seeing?" When you start from a place of information-gathering, as opposed to putting the teacher on the defensive, you'll likely get a fuller picture of what's going on, says Tingley. (And you'll save yourself the embarrassment if it turns out your son has been doodling during every test.) From there, you and the teacher can decide on the best way to address the problem.