Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Sep 08 2011

Parenting 101

A mother has been working hard to set up a meeting with me, and our schedules finally worked so that she ended up in my classroom after school today. She sent her daughter away so we could speak privately, and then she started listing all the things her daughter is doing wrong. Hanging with a bad crowd, stealing things, lying, not doing homework… that sort of thing.

Mom put all the family business right out on the table, and then looked at me and said:

“So I’m here because I really need your help. Things are going so terribly and I don’t know how to fix it. What should I do?”

I responded, “Nice chat, thanks, but I just turned 24, I have no kids, and I have ABSOLUTELY no idea.”

Well, not really… but I wish I could have said that. Instead I think I did a lot of sympathetic head-shaking and question-asking. Then I came up with the best plan I possibly could, promised to put it into effect, and told her we’d check in again in a week or two to see how things were going.

Sometimes it amazes me what parents think I can control.

One Response

  1. CJK

    Just being heard by someone who cares about her daughter changed her day for the better. Parents need allies in the developmental work and it says a lot that she got to the meeting and shared her worries.

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