Link to ‘About That Child’
I like a lot of what the author wrote in the blog post linked below. Parents, there might be “That Child” in your child’s classroom, and your child’s teachers and I know about him. Please don’t ask your child, “What did so-and-so do today to get into trouble? What did so-and-so do to you? Did so-and-so get a ‘Take 5’?” Please don’t interview your child about other children. Your well-meaning child knows what he thinks he remembers from the school day, but he doesn’t know the whole story. Far from it.
Please don’t ask school personnel about other children. We can’t tell you the sadness happening in the home of “That Child” or how the parents are desperately trying every possible strategy to help with an issue or what the family has been through or the help “That Child” is receiving from multiple resources. If it’s appropriate to mention another child’s name, we will say the child’s name. But in general, we will not tell you information about other families — just like we won’t share information about your family with others. We protect your child and you, too.
Also, students know that when they visit my office to talk, what they say is confidential. That goes for you as well. After we talk, I’ll tell teachers what they need to know but nothing that betrays your confidence. Use me. Call me. Email me. Tell me what you’re worried about, even if it’s something you’re not sure you should be worried about. And if you don’t want the teachers to know that you’ve contacted me, they will not know.
Finally, don’t think that everyone else is doing it better than you. Stop comparing your parenting to someone else’s parenting. No one has it all together. No one. People who seem like they have it all together are faking it just as much as the rest of us. You’re doing the absolute best you can, and sometimes it feels like everything’s falling apart. Give yourself a break, give your kids a break, give your family a break, give the teachers a break, give everyone a break. Maybe someone will give you a break when you need it, too.