Balancing Home & School: Navigating Conflicting Expectations Between Parents & Teachers

My job is to ensure you have less angst at home, and more love and connection.

What happens, then, when it’s not your kids giving you the angst, but your child’s school? 

I just had 5 calls in a row, with 5 different families, all touching on bridging the gap between home and school. 

These stories all boil down to: my school is telling my kid to do/not do something. Should I care about this? How do I make sure the messaging between school and home stays consistent? Shouldn’t I set a good example by making them finish all their homework? 

And, what’s more, these parents are all parents of kids who struggle in school. Their kids are coming home stressed. Sometimes feeling persecuted (by the teacher or by other kids), sometimes feeling overwhelmed, always feeling exhausted. 

The main question my clients have been asking me lately is “what do I do about school?” 

Fostering Resilience in Children: Prioritizing Family Well-being Over School Demands

I am going to say something controversial. And please know I am saying this from a place of deep respect for teachers (I am a former teacher!). 

You don’t have to do what your child’s teacher says. 

For the kid struggling in school who goes home and has fights about homework … the definition of insanity is trying the same thing that the teacher tried in the classroom, with less training and background, and expecting it to go better!

For the kid who has a hard time following all the classroom rules .. what would you tell your exhausted partner after a long day at a job they don’t like? Would you start acting like their boss? Or try to give them a safe haven? 

You might be thinking.. 

“I don’t want things to get confusing with two different sets of rules..”

“ I want to collaborate!” 

“Doesn’t the teacher know more than me about child development?”

Creating a Unified Approach: Integrating Parenting Values with School Guidelines

It’s healthy for a kid to know what’s expected of them in different places and adapt accordingly. In fact, it’s a fundamental life skill. You can collaborate with the school without losing your own mission and values as a parent. And, finally, if there was any doubt, you are the expert on your child. Others can give you context and information about kids in general, but it’s your job to keep all of that in one hand and keep all that you know about your child in the other hand.

So, what do we do here when the teacher is asking for your kid to do all their homework and you know they’re burned out? When they’re asking you to enforce rules that exist at school that you couldn’t care less about at home? When they call you with every little thing your kid did wrong that day, and you really don’t want to hear about it?

You lean into your mission and values as a parent, and you focus on your family systems at home. 

Please consider this your permission slip to take what works for you from school, and leave the rest. You are in charge. You make the calls on what works and doesn’t work for your family. 

If you want support on how to think about this further, I’m here to connect, leave a comment!

You can book a Clarity Call with me here.

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