Ask Kari: How can I help my child gain school support?

Dear Kari,

My child is struggling in school and I genuinely feel that his teacher does not like him. My son frequently comes home and tells me that his teacher makes fun of him or tells him to be quiet in class. What can I do to support my son and establish support for him in the school setting?

Worried Mom

Dear Worried Mom,

First, I would remind your son that he is loved exactly the way he is. Do this daily. Also, send his teacher a note inquiring about your son and the classroom atmosphere (i.e. “how are things going?”). Copy the school principal. Additionally, request a parent/teacher meeting wherein you can gather in person the teacher’s responses to your original inquiry and her genuine feelings about your son. Once you gather this additional information, figure out your child’s responsibility (if any) in the dynamic. Appropriately address any issues with your son. If his teacher needs additional support or guidance in supporting your son, the meeting will offer you an opportunity to enlighten and support her. If these suggestions do not produce the results you are hoping for, take the next step and request a meeting with the school’s principal to further address your concerns.


As published in the January 2014 issue of Connections.

About Kari:

Kari O’Neill, MSW, LICSW, is a licensed independent clinical social worker and a resident of Issaquah Highlands.

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