By Kristen Houghton
Mommy, My Teacher Hates Me!
If you have heard the statement, “My teacher hates me!” from your elementary school child, don’t panic but sit down and discuss this feeling she has. If what she says sounds serious to you, it probably is. Take it very seriously.
One of the most important lessons in parenting is giving your child coping skills. How they react to life’s problems and how they go about solving them is crucial. Learning early in life that there can be peaceful conflict resolution is vital to your child.
Conflict resolution for your child is not only about dealing with their peers. You can teach your child how to deal with a difficult teacher. It can be an invaluable lesson.
Like members of the medical and legal professions, educators are loath to “report” on a colleague. It is wrong but unfortunately that is the case. As there are office politics so are there school politics. Not fair but true.
It is not uncommon for there to be what is politely called a “personality conflict” between a teacher and student. However, no child should have to endure unpleasantness in the classroom due to a teacher’s attitude. How can you deal with this situation?
It is the beginning of school. Wait a couple of weeks and if your child is still upset, take steps to help her. You don’t want it to be a miserable year for her and you.
Be sure that it is not a class problem, that it is only your child who is being treated unfairly.
After ascertaining that there is a problem, schedule a meeting with the teacher as soon as possible. Do not let this conflict get out of hand.
Before the meeting, explain to your child that you are stepping in to resolve the problem. Avoid using any harsh words against the teacher no matter how much you dislike what he is doing to your child.
Let your child know that she must respect the teacher, but that she has the right to be treated fairly.
During the meeting with the teacher, voice your concerns calmly. Discuss what is happening and ask what you and the teacher can do to solve the conflict.
Don’t be put off by a teacher saying there is no conflict with your child. Simply state that you believe there is one and that it can be resolved if you both try.
If you feel that the teacher is unwilling to help, contact the principal for a meeting.
Be firm about the problem. This involves your child.
Talk to your child and let them know that, in life, they will meet all kinds of people, some with whom conflicts are unavoidable. They need only be polite, nothing more.
Above all, let your child know they can always come to you and “vent.” Let them know you are there for them in all ways.
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