Parents, I know sometimes speaking with your kids about school can be a stressful and taxing proposition. You rarely get anything meaningful out of that conversation and in many cases it leads to an argument. In general, your child isn’t going to share what is happening in school with you. Even the best students sometimes seem to shy away from talking with their parents about what is going on in school. Obviously not all students are like this but there are more than enough to justify this post.
A major reason for this issue is due to the fact that children hold all the power in that conversation. You want to know information they have. They know this and also know you have no other way of getting this information. It is not a dynamic that leads to a meaningful conversation. In general teenage kids seem to avoid speaking with their parents if they can, even more so when it is about school. The disparity of information from kid to parent is one of the major factors in that issue. Your job as a parent, if you want to really have a meaningful conversation about school with your kid, is to get as much of that information as you can before hand. The more you know about what is going on in school, the more your child will be willing to speak with you about it. They will quickly realize that a simple “everything is fine” or “no I don’t have any homework” answer won’t cut it because you know that’s not true. It will make speaking with your children about school much easier.
Ways to do this:
1. Check their grades online regularly. See if they are missing any assignments. See how they did on tests and quizzes. Try to remember if they studied for them.
2. If your child’s school has ParentEdge check the messages everyday. Use those messages as a way to have a conversation with your child about their homework and about their upcoming tests everyday.
3. If you are desperate for information, email your child’s teacher and try to keep updated through that route. Email generally is the best means today of getting in contact with teachers. Phone calls can easily get lost or forgotten about.
Use the above tools to make it easier to talk with your kids about school. The more information you, as the parent, have the easier it will be to speak with your kids about what is going on in their classes.
Founder and President of SchoolEdge Mobile Inc., High School Chemistry Teacher, Father, Husband, Michigan State University Graduate