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Parent-Teacher Conferences and Bringing Kids

By Jodie Lynn
www.ParentToParent.com



QUESTION:

Parent and teacher conferences are right around the corner. Many of the parents bring their kids to the session. The teachers don't seem to care one way or the other. However, I would like to talk to them by myself. What works best in this situation?

ANSWER FROM READER:

We go from room to room with our three kids and actually take them in for the first few minutes. Then, they go sit outside the doorway until we are finished with the conference. My husband and I both go and take turns asking a few questions. Also, my strong points are in written and spoken English and his are in math and science. We think taking them and both making an appearance provides the best unified front for everyone. - Charles and Maggie T. in Dallas, TX

FROM JODIE:

There's lots of things to consider in your decision to take the kids to a parent/teacher conference. It may depend on their age, maturity level and whether or not they may benefit from going. If the teacher doesn't seem to mind, and you feel it would be beneficial for them to attend, go ahead and take them. However, you'll probably have to put some rules in place beforehand. For example, instruct them to listen and not to speak unless spoken to during the conference and tell them why this is important. You may not hear or understand exactly what is being said if your child is talking or moving around. Of course, if the kids are young and in lower grade school, it might be a challenge to get them to follow these instructions. Taking another adult with you to help manage them or perhaps getting a sitter may work out best until they are older. If this is the first conference, there may not be as much to discuss so it should go pretty quickly. It's the second one where the teachers have really had a chance to get to know each child's strengths and weaknesses. Regardless, have your questions in hand and jot down the answers that the teacher provides. This way you can have firsthand information to refer to should you need to send an email or text to the teacher later on at some point. Don't forget to ask the kids if they have any specific questions. This makes them feel like they are a part of the process whether or not they are there. Make sure that you are clear on the protocols of contacting the teacher and when you might get a reply. It is usually a text or an email, very few expect phone calls, but some might. Email addresses and numbers need to be exchanged and verified before leaving the conference.

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CAN YOU HELP?

Every Thanksgiving we travel to my husbands mom's house. Our three kids do not like anything she cooks, which is Cajun, and are really beginning to complain. How should I approach her about this without making her feel bad or upsetting her?

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© Jodie Lynn
Jodie Lynn is an award-winning internationally syndicated family/health columnist and radio personality. Her syndicated column Parent to Parent has been successful for over 10 years and appears in newspapers, magazines, newsletters and throughout the Internet. She is a regular contributor to several sites including eDiets.com, KeepKidsHealthy.com, ClubMom.com, BabyUniverse.com, CatholicMom.com, MainStreetMom.com and MommiesMagazine.com. Lynn has written four books and contributed to three others, one of which was on Oprah and has appeared on NBC in a three month parenting segment. Her latest books are "Mom CEO (Chief Everything Officer) - Having, Doing and Surviving It All!" (June 2006) and "Syndication Secrets - What No One Will Tell You!" (March 2006).
Please visit www.ParentToParent.com for details on her new radio talk show, Inside Parenting Success.

 

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