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Kindergarten: Communicating with Your Child and Your Child's Teacher (page 2)

— Iowa State University Extension
Updated on Sep 29, 2009

Communicating With Your Child's Teacher

During this first year of school, you can demonstrate how important you believe school is by your reaction to absences, minor illnesses and truancy. The policies you set regarding bedtime, television watching and home-based learning activities will help your child feel that what he does at school matters.

When you visit with your child's teacher, be ready to find out what is expected. When you know what the teachers are trying to achieve, you can reinforce those expectations at home.

If the teacher has some suggestions for improvement, try to listen and determine how you can help your child meet those expectations. Be sure to ask questions so you can understand the problem.

It sometimes is a good idea to have a list of questions ready for the teacher. "Does John finish his assignments?" "Can Susie keep up with the others on the playground?" "Is Bill too tired in the mornings?" If you've wondered about these things, write them down so you won't forget to ask. Try to provide your child's teacher with information that may help her understand your child's behavior. "Jane is looking forward to fishing with her grandparents this weekend. She may find it difficult to sit still and concentrate today."

Don't fall into the "Where have I failed" trap! If the teacher has some recommendations for your child, it doesn't mean your skills as a parent are at fault. In fact, it can give you an opportunity to work with the teacher and child to improve your parenting skills. Try not to be defensive. Teachers are attempting to guide your child in a positive direction, but they need your support. They are not trying to pass judgment on your parenting skills.

During the first year of school it is very important for you to bolster your child's confidence in her abilities and potential. An encouraging word, praise for a new work of art or a job well done, or an unexpected hug can help your child feel good about herself and her abilities. Be sure she knows that everyone differs in their talents and abilities, and that in her own special way she is an entirely worthwhile and precious person.

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