About Your Kid’s Behavior . . .

You just got a call from the school office. Here are 7 things to not do.

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Photo by Anton Darius | @theSollers on Unsplash

1. Don’t freak out.

After I’ve identified myself, the first thing I say over the phone to any parent is that their kid is fine (assuming that’s true). As I mentioned, I’m a mom and I know full well the pulse-pumping, stomach-sinking sensation prompted by a call from the school office.

2. Don’t demand to speak to your kid right away.

Whoever has placed the call has information for you beyond the initial incident. You’ll do yourself, your kid, and everyone else involved a big favor if you listen carefully and get the whole story before you react.

3. Don’t view your kid’s behavior as a reflection on you.

This is much more difficult than it sounds. We invest more love, time, effort and money in our children than in just about anything else in our lives, and we are eager to take pride in their accomplishments.

4. As a matter of fact, don’t make this about you at all.

The school is not calling to issue a referendum on your parenting. This is not the judgment at Nuremberg; you don’t have to rush to your own defense. We’re parents too, remember?

5. Don’t leap to your kid’s defense.

There is a big difference between being your child’s advocate and enabler. Despite what your kid may tell you, we are not interested in targeting them.

6. Don’t ask who the other kid is.

If your youngster got into a fight or into some substance or into the clinch with another student, don’t ask us who it was. We can’t tell you.

7. Don’t despair.

The call you just got from the school office may be a real low point in your day, or your week, or your year, depending on the severity of the issue. You may be feeling bloody awful about yourself, or your child, or the future in general.

Written by

Writer & educator. The Startup, Writing Cooperative, P.S. I Love You, The Ascent, more. Award-winning short fiction. Visit me at www.JanMFlynn.net.

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