How to resolve junior's dispute with their schoolteacher

Junior will be stressed to have conflicts with his teacher. Here are ways to help him straighten out the matter.

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Minor conflicts between your child and their teachers in school are not uncommon. If such matters are not resolved, it can become a significant source of stress for your kid.

Still, you may find it tough to fix your child’s teacher problems. For one, you weren’t present when the alleged incident took place. Also, your understanding of the matter will be affected by your child’s account of what took place.  

Make a wrong move — such as accusing the teacher of something they didn’t do — and you risk losing the teacher’s support. So, make sure to approach your offpsring’s teacher — or any school staff — tactfully.

Dr Vaani Gunaseelan, a psychologist at Think Psychological Services’, has tips you can follow:

* Approach them quietly and be tactful when you share your concerns. Don’t make personal attacks on the teacher, or use an accusatory or blaming tone.

* Appeal to the teacher for their help in working out the issue with you, so as to bring out the best in your child.

* Don’t bring along a third-party — the teacher may get the impression that you are ambushing them. If you need a third party to be present, do let the teacher know in advance, instead of springing a surprise on the teacher.

If your child’s teacher reacts aggressively, keep your cool and do not engage in an argument with the teacher, Dr Vaani advises.

If your child’s teacher reacts aggressively, keep your cool and do not engage in an argument, Dr Vaani advises. Instead, check to see if there are other teachers from the school — like the principal, head of department or mediator — who can assist with the matter. Then, keep them in the loop, so that the matter can be resolved amicably.

The experts have advice on handling tricky situations…

SITUATION #1 Being punished by teachers unfairly

WHAT? Junior tells you their teacher has punished them for not submitting their homework on time. They feel the their punishment — detention for the whole week — outweighs the severity of their mistake.

HOW SHOULD YOU HELP? As a parent, you may feel anxious to rush in and rescue your child but you shouldn’t, advises Joy Ong Shu Xin, a senior counsellor at InspireJoy. At least, not until you’ve a better understanding of the situation. “[Sometimes,] we could use the situation as a teachable moment for our child to learn conflict management and problem-solving skills.”

First, listen empathetically to your child’s account and give them the emotional support they need to process their feelings. Then, Ong suggests that you brainstorm with junior for solutions to prevent this issue from happening again. This includes making sure to complete their homework on time.

However, if you’re worried about the punishment being given to your child, Ong stresses that you convey your concerns to the teacher directly. You should also seek their help in coming up with a solution to help your kiddo complete their work on time.