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“Sticking up for your child”

I had been given tons of advice about how to navigate school when my daughter started to attend. Most of the advice from other parents was along the lines of keeping your head down and your nose clean. I had been told by numerous people that the best thing to do for my child was to not “make waves.”

I never felt too good about that type of advice. That wasn’t the message I wanted my daughter to have. I felt that it was important for her to know that I was her biggest advocate. Given my own experiences in school I have the foresight to know that things are not always as they seem.

If it hasn’t happened to you with your own children yet, surely you remember pleading your case with your own parents about a teacher that “just doesn’t like you.” More often than not you had to just deal with it no matter if that were the case or not.

In my home we truly value honesty. When it comes to issues that need to be handled the only surefire way to stay out of trouble is to be completely honest the first time around. Any wavering in the story and our parental compassion starts to dissipate. With this now being the case for years it’s very easy to get the truth out of our daughter. She knows that we will handle it appropriately and fairly as long as she is completely honest. This solves a lot of problems because she doesn’t have to fear irrational punishments or giant blowups that can cause a small child to want to bend the truth to get out of trouble.

If you have a child in school maybe you had to deal with the sometimes odd and bizarre ways that teachers handle issues that happen at school. Some kids can’t keep their hands to themselves, some kid said a word that they weren’t supposed to say, and a lot of these issues are hearsay from other children on the playground. How the teacher is able to navigate and decide who is right and who is wrong I will never know. Especially given the fact that they aren’t monitored 24 seven.

My point is, don’t be scared to be an advocate for your own child. If they are blamed for a playground incident they swear they didn’t do, if they feel like they are being treated unfairly by a teacher, if they are being bullied, and so on, step in! Make waves, have your child’s back and let them know it. This is especially the case if you are a parent that is already scrutinized maybe because of how you look, how you dress, your social status, or how you parent your own child. Rest assured most of these people you are up against have already made their opinions about you. The last thing your child needs to think is that they are alone in the world and that what adults say goes, no matter what the case. Respecting authority and bring a doormat at very different things.

Children at school can be cruel to each other, teachers are only human and sometimes cruel as well. It’s important for your child to know that you support then no matter what. I told my daughter numerous times that I would “go to war” for her if I had to. Not only are those words, but I have proved it to her. Some people have told me not to make waves, but I always thought that the squeaky wheel gets the grease and my child is worth the fight.

Family is a word that seems like it is loosely tossed around. Well not in this house, not with us. We stand for each other, for what’s right, all the time and everything. That’s the lesson I want my daughter to learn. I want her to pass it down to her own children. I want her to know we’ve got her back, and always will and we aren’t scared to stick up for her to anyone on this earth.

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