Your child comes home from school upset with a story about his teacher, or another kid. Before you charge in like a mama bear, do the 1,2, 3, 4 check.
1. Find out more about what happened. Ask questions that help your child give you more details.
2. Reiterate back to your child how you understand the situation at hand and make sure what you think you heard, is what your child actually expressed.
3. Ask your child what he would like you do or what he would like to have happen. Sometimes, just like adults, kids just want to vent, but they aren’t expecting us to charge in and resolve the problem. Giving them space (there that is again) to see if they can address the issue themselves will give them a greater sense of confidence. Before you intercede, see if you can offer them guidance, tools and tips. Maybe do some role playing – whether it’s dealing with a friend or speaking to their teacher, to help them find the words and confidence to fight their own battles.
4. Assess the situation. Sometimes we do need to step in, but if you do, try to do it from a neutral place. Approach your child’s teacher from a place of ‘I want to find out more about what’s going on here.’ Or ‘this is really troubling, can you explain to me what happened.’ After having the conversation, let your child know what happened and what actions will be taken and let your child know that you are there to support him as this gets worked out. Then monitor the situation.