Parent/Teacher Relationships

You did it!  You successfully have your children back in the school routine.  I want to take a moment to applaud all you have done to make this possible.  You made sure they had the right supplies, new clothes and shoes that fit their constantly growing bodies, and you managed any resistance or anxiety they had about starting a new year.  You helped establish a relationship with their teacher, made sure their homework was completed and cared for your children’s snacks and lunches.  Not to mention all you do at home to keep them functioning at their best like grocery shopping, laundry and cleaning up after them.  I think you are amazing and I thank you on behalf of children everywhere.  Well done!

So, now what?  Of course we all must keep our nose to the grindstone but as our back-in-school momentum is firmly established, it gives us a moment, albeit a teeny-tiny moment, to evaluate the bigger picture.  How are our kids doing overall?  Are they motivated and successful?  Are they struggling with any subjects?  Is their behavior in check?  

These are always the areas parent look at to make sure their children are succeeding academically and socially.  If anything is amiss, it is our job to connect with their teachers to discuss any issues that we may find.  What happens when a teacher isn’t receptive to your concerns?  How do you manage it?  You want the best for your kids and it helps if you have a teacher that sees your child and the situation in the same way that you do.  If a teacher isn’t able to understand your perspective, it can make it harder to find solutions.

There are a couple different ways you could approach this.  If you honestly feel you have exhausted your communication attempts with the teacher, it is time to reach out to the school’s administration.  Every school handles these types of issues differently.  It could lead to a face-to-face meeting with appropriate staff to hear your concerns, or in rare instances and if your school is large enough, you may be able to move your child to a classroom better equipped to meet their needs.  Another option is to look at the situation as a growth opportunity for your child.  Not every teacher clicks perfectly with every kid.  Personalities and relationships vary in the classroom, but this is also typical in life.  If you feel comfortable, you can use your child’s challenges as a way for them to learn how to deal with someone who has a different outlook or demeanor than they do.  This is great preparation for the relationships they will encounter over a lifetime.  

If these approaches don’t seem appealing, that’s when it is time to call Riverview Counseling Services.  Their supportive staff can give you the help you need on the home-front as well as in the school setting.  They will work with you to develop strategies to get your child back on track and offer you guidance on how to navigate the social and administrative dynamics of school.  

You certainly are doing a huge amount to keep your kids healthy and happy.  Now it’s time to let someone else step in and give you some help.  To better serve your needs, Riverview Counseling Services has locations in Batavia and St. Charles.  To schedule an appointment or answer any questions you may have, contact Cheryl Denz, MA, LCPC at 630-587-3777 x103 or email

Written by Diana DeVaul, MSW and Parent