Sunday, September 13, 2009
Help! My child is being labeled as a "bad kid"
Been there, living it out... My two cents: AS FOR SCHOOL.... Yes, never make exceptions to their existing rules. Your voice to your child is to follow the rules, least you'll have a child thinking rules are meant to be ignored or he is not responsible for his actions. But, DO sit in and observe to make note of things your child IS doing correctly in class to give him as positive feedback. That is usually missed by the teachers since at that point they usually don't see the positives.
Get the school's handbook and know the rules, go to TEA website and know your rights under Texas Education Codes. When you say behavior issue, look on TEA's site to see what Texas considers as a behavior issue. You will be surprised and will realize usually you child's teacher is poorly trained in classroom management and is playing the behavior issue card to cover up her lack of creativity or to save her professional pride.
Breakdown your child's classroom rules to make sure if your child broke one it really was a rule and not her interpretation or ad lib to the situation. In younger kids they get that it's either right or wrong.. they know that. It's when we as experienced adults interpret an inner thought process for someone and determine they broke a rule is when it become problematic. Call the teacher out on that and suggest she uses those times as teachable moments. And, that you would love to know those moments so you can have more role play at home so your child can better work out his thought process (i.e... working on his conscience). If the teachers would handle what they perceive as behavior issues, but are really not, as teachable moments as I just discuss it would not tear our kids down and strip their self esteem. I would STRONGLY encourage you to go with your mother's intuition if you feel like a teacher or teachers or staff are sending signals or creating an ambiance that your child is bad child. DO NOT TOLERATE it at all. Discuss with the teacher areas that are combed over with a Behavior Issue comb and try to get them to see the teachable moment.
Call them out on subtle, negative actions regarding your child that are displayed to other staff members and children. It will spread like a wildfire if you don't. Then other teachers will see you child from a clouded lens and single them out first for any incident involving behavior issues ( walking to a specials class, in the lunchroom, on the playground). Even your child's peers will get the message and they will blame him for the same behavior they too have on playground but because of what they SEE modeled from teachers and they will tell on him. The REAL bottom line on that issue with any child is that- THAT teacher is not properly skilled to deal with EDUCATION and DISCIPLINE with your child or any child for that matter. Your child is a WHOLE package and NEVER allow a teacher to discuss a behavior issue with you without addressing the WHOLE the child. A meeting not dealing with the whole child is ALWAYS staked up to label your child and is only self serving and redeeming for the teacher. Please be in tuned to the situation, if your child's teacher cannot say anything positive or redeeming about your child WITHOUT a condensing overture TAKE NOTE!!! When dealing with a disconnected teacher only administrative intervention will help change or monitor. As my mother always told me, "Everybody has to answer to somebody." Another point to discuss with your child's teacher: How are they engaging your child. I'm not talking about they all get a worksheet or assignment and need to ask for help if they need it. A teacher like this is NOT engaging in her students. So when your child is NOT doing their assignment in that teacher's estimation they are a behavior issue. Watchout for that type of coverup by teachers. A teacher that is engaged in her students will be able to tell you WHY was your student not doing his work. Ask the questions! Be your child's advocate!
Be your child's advocate can't be stressed enough. Having worked as a paraprofessional in the classroom in an Educational environment I have seen teachers purposely ignore a child they did not want to deal with, once after subbing in a 1st Grade classroom, I then gave my account of the day to the child's teacher of him needing extra help with learning how to count money the teacher told me, "Oh, I know, He just can't get it", I have seen teachers belittle a child for behavior in front of classmates and parade them around with them all day all the while telling everyone, "This is my special child". Even the kids, who were within hearing distance understood the negative double meaning. A teacher will NEVER tell you they treat your child or other children this way. Listen to your child and be his advocate! General speaking, you probably already know the teachers that genuinely care and are engaged.
WITH THE CHILD: Then, on the areas you do see that need improvement. During a one on one playtime, family outing or play (usually times to display patience, cooperation and empathy) remind EVERYONE that you are looking for (patience, cooperation, and empathy). It is good for you to you point out when you and your husband are modeling patience, cooperation and empathy as well. In our experience those 3 things are the things that manifest in teenage life as bitters,,, no DAGGERS! in a child who's self esteem has been chipped away from being labeled as a "bad kid" or behavior problem kid!
Patience, Cooperation and EMPATHY!
It's not a coincidence. I truly believe you were meant to be here. Thank you for spending some time with me discovering the small but important things. In this blog I share my thoughts on family, friends, trials and triumphs. You will find links and thoughts that are dear to my heart as I grow daily in being a Godly wife, mother, daughter, grand-daughter, sister, home school novice and friend.