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Lack of Parent-Teacher Communication

Toddler and Teenager Expert Advice from Carleton Kendrick, Ed.M., LCSW

Q: My son just started second grade. I am somewhat protective and would like to know who he spends most of his day with. When my husband and I took him to school the first day, the teacher shooed us out to the hall. We had a small problem last year at the same school. I feel there is not much communication between the school and the parents. Should I send my son to another school?

A: Whether or not you believe your son is receiving a good education in a nurturing school should be your major focus. I don't know what the "small problem" was with the school last year so I can't comment on any pattern of school/teacher indifference toward parents. I would not view the teacher's "shooing" you out of the classroom as an indication that she doesn't want to work in alliance with you towards your son having a great school year. Many teachers feel that the parents' presence in the classroom on the first day makes it harder for the child to separate and for her to focus all her attention on tending to the kids.

If you want to find out more about this teacher and her educational philosophy, why not volunteer in the classroom? Please schedule a meeting with her as soon as possible. If she refuses to meet with you at all, then you should have serious concerns about her. I bet this will not happen and you will be able to feel like a partner in your boy's education. Don't let your anger or resentment about a teacher or this school influence your son. Take up any concerns in a friendly, solicitous manner with the principal of the school. It's worth your best effort and the school's to forge a partnership for the good of your son's educational experience.

We have some good advice and articles on how parents have forged mutually satisfying relationships with teachers and school systems. Click on our kids' icons at the bottom of the site page to find links to articles that discuss these topics. Thanks for writing.

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Carleton Kendrick has been in private practice as a family therapist and has worked as a consultant for more than 20 years. He has conducted parenting seminars on topics ranging from how to discipline toddlers to how to stay connected with teenagers. Kendrick has appeared as an expert on national broadcast media such as CBS, Fox Television Network, Cable News Network, CNBC, PBS, and National Public Radio. In addition, he's been quoted in the New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, USA Today, Reader's Digest, BusinessWeek, Good Housekeeping, Woman's Day, and many other publications.

Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.

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