Establishing Regular Communication
By Melvin Hayden
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Establishing good communication will be essential to working with our students as they come back to school, via virtual or face-to-face. It is our duty to support them in the best way possible. Over the past few months, the ability to be flexible has kept our classroom creativity in line with the times we are experiencing. It may not seem possible but virtual behavior can be just as rude and disrespectful as face-to-face behavior. Communication between parents and teachers are no less important now than it was in the building. With teacher's needs in mind, parents should still be asking questions to be kept abreast of behavior issues so that you can address it at home, while in the home. There’s no better place or space than in the moment for corrective teaching.
It’s never too late to problem-solve with children. According to the National Association of School Psychologists, the best way to communicate with children is when they feel empowered - like their opinion matters. We all remember when we wanted control over our own lives. Children today are no different, but it is happening far more frequent and earlier than back in my day. However, I’m the parent and if I really want to know what’s going on with my daughter, I have to cut her some slack so she’ll feel comfortable to talk. Likewise, this sense of control can reduce fear. So, be compassionate about the challenges they are facing and work to give them some control in their lives.
We are in a new world now and the new normal has been happening. But we did not need a pandemic to see that choices our children make are a phone click away. Behavior issues happen all the time, but there is no question that attending school during a pandemic may lead to increased behavior issues. After all, children are adjusting to wearing masks. That alone can be frustrating. In addition, don’t forget to maintain relationships with your children’s friends’ parents. Fellowship with them so that you can support one another. Additionally, never underestimate the parent network and its unlimited ability to tap into unknown sources. Friends may have ideas or insight into how to handle difficult behavior during this time.
If your child continues to have issues, do not be afraid to reach out for help. Make sure the school psychologist or counselor is available virtually during these times as well. They should be willing to offer ideas or solutions. When all else fails you also can check with your pediatrician, especially if your child's misbehavior is connected to anxiety or stress. Lastly, consider The Bleu Rooster podcasts as an essential resource for all things trauma and behavior. New episodes are released every Wednesday evening. You can find our podcasts on thebleurooster.org/podcasts.