Advocating for Your Child at School

Helping your child succeed at school comes from you having the right attitude.

Posted Feb 25, 2014

This time of year, many children are struggling to keep up at school. A close collaborative, positive working relationship with your child's school is crucial to help him or her. Ask around, scope out who can help you at the school and find an advocate. Remember, your goal is to advocate but not irritate.

It is crucial that you have the right mindset when advocating for your child at school, and the right mindset begins in and with how you view yourself. Your input really does count, and, if constructively presented, it will make a difference.

The key to offering helpful input is to NOT allow these destructive thoughts to get in the way:

  • I feel I should be doing a better job at home.
  • She needs to fail, and then she will respect your teachers.
  • I don't know how much help to ask for.
  • The school really won't help.
  • This is all only going to get worse.
  • I'm embarrassed to ask the school for help.

To create an empowered, success-geared attitdue for advocating for advocating for your child at school, try thinking in THESE WAYS shown below:

  • Being involved shows teachers and educators that I take my child's education seriously.
  • The more I get to know and work supportively with my child's teachers, the less room there is for misunderstandings.
  • I am helping my struglging child by helping her teachers understand her.
  • The fact that my child's problems have not gone away overnight does not mean my efforts are not productive. I must remember that the problems were not created overnight.
  • The more I work a constructively helping my child, the more my child will learn to help herself.
  • I will never question myself for giving my child my best effort, if I keep doing the best I can.

Dr. Jeffrey Bernstein is a psychologist with over twenty years experience specializing in child, adolescent, couples, and family therapy. He holds a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the State University of New York at Albany and completed his post doctoral internship at the University of Pennsylvania Counseling Center. He has appeared on the The Today Show, Court TV as an expert advisor, CBS eyewitness news Philadelphia, 10! Philadelphia—NBC and public radio. Dr. Bernstein has authored four books, including the highly popular 10 Days to a Less Defiant Child (Perseus Books, 2006) and 10 Days to Less Distracted Child (Perseus Books 2007).