Raising an issue with your school

As parents it goes without saying that we all want what is best for our children. With the return to school we all have ideas of what “the best” looks like.

So, it is normal that when we believe that our child is not in the class that is the best for them, we may feel cross or when a child's best friend is not in their class for the second year in a row, you can be disappointed. This is of course a normal reaction when our view of how things should be is challenged.

At Strength Heroes we teach kids that when we get sad, cross or disappointed it’s like we are on a wizzy dizzy at a park. The faster it goes the more dizzy we get which makes it hard to think straight and react well. It may result in people expressing their disappointment to everyone in hearing distance (including children), becoming so fixated on how unfair the situation is, or a heated discussion with the school. I know we have seen this and the sad fact is that it will continue for many first days of school.

We can learn from those parents who raise their issues in a constructive way such as speaking directly with the school and working with them to identify strategies to address their concerns and issues.

What do these people do and how can you learn from them?

  1. BAT – The Strength Heroes BAT reminds us that first we must get off the wizzy dizzy and calm down. B is for Breathe – let those helpful endorphins fill your body. Then Admit – yes I am feeling VERY angry and finally Think “How can I deal with this?” This little exercise will counter our natural fight or flight mechanism. Handy when we used to hunt for our food, not so handy in a school playground.

  2. Challenge your perceptions Consider how could this situation be a learning opportunity for your child? Is there another way of looking at this? For example, if your child is not with their best friend, it is an opportunity for them to make a wider circle of friends which is useful if anything happens to their friendship.

  3. Walk in the other person’s shoes and consider the schools situation. Schools need to juggle multiple families with competing demands. They also are filled with people who are just like you, doing the best they can with the best intentions and like us, they make mistakes.

  4. Raise your issue in a way that people will listen to you. Resist the urge to demand to speak to someone immediately ask for an appointment to discuss some concerns. Make an appointment. When you meet identify what the issue is, your concerns and the impact on your child or you. For example, My son is not confident about his maths ability and I am concerned that if he is the only boy in such a small group of younger children in the split class he will not ask questions because he is embarrassed. “

  5. Be curious and seek to understand. If you are concerned with a decision ask "What is the reason behind this? How could we address this issue?"

  6. Listen. A meeting is about listening with an intention to understand. If you are sitting there thinking about the next thing you are going to say when they are talking, then you are not listening.

  7. Consider what the person has said and work out what will happen from there. This maybe you proposing some things or working it out together. Going back to my example, if the teacher is aware that your child may not be confident asking some questions then she could put in place some strategies to deal with it.

Finally, what do you do if you can see a friend or a fellow parent struggling with a decision that is affecting their child? As people we want to be helpful but it does not mean we need to be a part of it. It may be interesting to hear about everyone’s views about a teacher or the split class’s but it is not going to solve the issue and may even encourage the person to fixate on the issue. Successful people focus on what concerns them. You may find it useful to be there to listen or even assist the parent work out what they are going to do, however, be careful you don’t become a part of it. That we call the Drama Llama and the subject of another blog.

How do you deal successfully with issues or what do you see people doing that is helpful?

This term our focus is on confidence and strengths and our theme is I AM AMAZING.

Resilient kids are guided by their strengths and values when facing challenges. We will be creating confidence and exploring strengths. Children will create a unique artwork that celebrates them and what makes them special. They will also learn to spot their own strengths and identify how they can unleash them to tackle problems, mistakes or bounce forward when things go wrong.

There are a few ways your child can get a DOSE of resilience in the next two terms. We will be adding new workshops as they come on line so stay tuned.

Afterschool classes - Our 8 week afterschool program starts at Quintilian school on 20th of March from 3.30 - 5.30

Weekend workshops - Choose from one or all of our 3 hour weekend (morning and afternoon workshops available) which are designed to help busy parents and children get a DOSE of resilience without signing up to our weekly classes. Morning and afternoon workshops with a different project and new concept that can be done stand alone or as a series.

Dates: Term 1: 9, 10th of March, Term 2: 11, 18 and 25th of May. $65 per session or $200 for a package of workshops. Contact us to book all or go to EVENTBRITE to book individually.

Morning sessions 9 – 12.00 Afternoon sessions 1.30 – 4.30

Two day Mistake Maker workshop

17 and 18th of April (school holidays)

TRY - A VERY arty day - 15th and 16th of April (School holidays)