By Miss Kimee Cruz, School Counselor
During Advent we were in a time of waiting and preparing ourselves for the birth of Jesus. Now it is the New Year and many of us make resolutions. During these seasons, we often reflect and we make promises to ourselves to be better. However, the reality is we don’t need a holiday to work on bettering ourselves. During my time here at St. Ann, I’ve spoken to parents and heard their concerns. I see their struggle and effort to become better parents to their children . As we begin the new year, I share with you some of the questions that have be posed to me.
What do you do when your child comes home and tells you that someone at school is being mean to him/her?
Our first instinct is to tell our child to avoid that person. In a small school like ours, this can be tough to do for students. Instead, try to get the whole story. This is our role as parents to teach about perspective taking. It is okay to talk to the teacher about this because it is always nice to have an extra set of eyes when things like this happen. It is okay to talk to the counselor because maybe something can be facilitated. It is okay for our student to tell the other student that what they are doing isn’t nice. The child who is being mean may not realize they are being mean, or if they know they are intentionally being mean then they should be made aware. The tough part about that is when a child is going home and saying it, the lesson may not be learned because it isn’t taught in that instant. The child who feels that the other student is being mean, can talk to a trusted person and then with that person they can practice how to say something to the mean person. The teacher and/or counselor can help facilitate. A worry most students have is feeling like if they tell an adult it can make it worse. When this happens a parent can support the child by giving them room to talk about it and discuss different solutions, like asking if they spoke with an adult at school about it for help.
My child cries and does not want to go to school, what do I do?
Instantly as parents we may think, “Oh no my child doesn’t like school.” However this may not be the case, this might simply be the child doesn’t want to leave you. Our teachers are trained in handling this. An older child may have some anxiety of doing work or taking a test, you can talk to them about it, encourage them and praise them for studying. You can also pray with them. Sometimes it is difficult to get up in the morning, so setting that routine and staying consistent is important. Mornings can be tough so being prepared is the best solution. For our younger children getting them into the car might necessitate an object novel to the car. Again, talking to the teacher and counselor for support on how to make the transitions smooth is a good idea.
Who’s responsibility is it to do the homework?
Homework is the child’s responsibility however we believe in interdependence. Teachers’ are very specific in how they want the homework done. Our younger students will require more help and parents are responsible for checking the homework and signing calendars. (One parent shared she was embarrassed because she signed her child’s calendar and she didn’t finish the work…her teacher wrote a note back saying that the child did not finish her work…oops!) We want to avoid this and help our students to be responsible. For our older students, they essentially are responsible (we may not even know how to help them with their homework) however if it is a writing assignment we can help to edit or just have a conversation.
As parents it is a good idea talk to the teacher when you have a concern. Teachers often have a different perspective of the child. Some parents have shared with me that they didn’t realize their child could do some of the things they do independently. We all have the best interest of the students in mind and we all try to set up our students for success. When home and school are on the same page it is makes it better for the student.
It is always a good time to reflect, realign and be redeemed!