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Ask Amy: Parents struggle to handle child’s school stress

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

He is very creative, artistic, and generally a happy and easygoing boy.

Any advice on how to tackle this?

My mother-in-law says to just let it go because he's fine, but I don't know.

I'm worried that I'm just not seeing something, and this is uncharted territory for me.

– Uncharted

Dear Uncharted: Your son’s teachers are telling you that your son has problems – or creates problems – in their classroom.

 

Without details or examples, you don’t have any way to coach your son toward improved behavior. It is ironic (to say the least) that his reading teachers communicate so poorly.

You should start by emailing both of the teachers. Thank them for teaching your son and explain simply and briefly that you are eager to help resolve some of the issues they’ve raised. You might engage them more thoroughly if you basically throw yourself on their mercy by adding something like, “We are first-time parents and he is our only child, so we don’t have any prior experience dealing with educational or learning problems. We really want to help him succeed, so please detail very plainly and specifically any behavior which you believe needs correction. We welcome your specific suggestions and guidance for how to help him to be the respectful and engaged pupil you deserve to teach.”

After this blatant appeal for help, you should also kick this issue upstairs to the academic counselor and/or principal. Meeting personally with these educators would help to give you a game plan, and it could also put the school administration on notice that these particular teachers are not necessarily setting your son up for success in school.

This is a critical stage for your son. He could emerge as a lively little boy who is excited to learn, or a frustrated child who doesn’t like going to school.

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