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How to keep connected with your child’s school even if you don’t do the school run!

6 May 2016 No Comment

One of the biggest tugs at our heartstrings as working parents is the fact that often we have to rely on others to drop our children at school or pick them up, write Julia Hague, co-author of Being Me (and Loving It). It doesn’t matter whether you consider their childminder to be the “Mary Poppins” you always dreamed you’d find, you still feel somehow disconnected from that mysterious place where they spend a huge chunk of their lives and which you feel, wrongly, guilty of not being a part.

Stop! We’re lucky enough to be in the age of the “keep in touch” mentality and, oh boy, life has never been easier for us to enter into our children’s lives at schools. Remember technology – that wonderful, often cursed revolution that has invaded all our lives? Yes, that’s right. Our communications saviour.

Schools have never been so eager to impart information to parents. From the school website, to their Twitter and Facebook accounts, newsletters, text messaging services and emails, information is flying at you from all corners on a daily basis. If that wasn’t enough, your children’s exercise books, planners and end of term reports will always have comments in if there is a need for them and are a place for you to communicate back.

 So if the schools are eager to communicate with you, do make sure that they can! If you change email or mobile phone number or if you change jobs and your work number changes too, be proactive! Let them know straight away.

Get to know who your child’s class teacher is and take a day off to do one pick up from school and introduce yourself or ask for a meeting. Explain that you work and ask how best to contact him or her if you need to. You will be surprised how easy it is to contact them direct or at least through a member of admin who understands. After all, they are most likely working parents too, don’t forget!

And listen to your child! Give them time with you to engage once they are at home. Take an interest but never push to get information. For some children, school might be the last thing they want to talk about. Give them the chance then back off if they seem reluctant and try the next day. Think about how you would feel if you were pushed to talk about your day at work when all you wanted was a glass of wine and to put your feet up. Children are no different.

Make friends with the school receptionist. If you do need to speak on the phone or in person be warm. Be polite. Ask for their help to get in touch with the teacher you need to speak to. They know everybody.   They can help you.

Relax. There’s never been a better century to keep in touch with your child’s educators and them with you.

Naomi Richards – www.thekidscoach.org.uk

Julia Hague – www.potentialsandpositives.com

Being Me (and Loving It): Stories and activities to help build self-esteem, confidence, positive body image and resilience in children-esteem, confidence, positive body image and resilience in children is co-authored by Julia Hague and the UK’s number one kids’ coach, Naomi Richards, and published on April 21 2016 by Jessica Kingsley Publishers at an RRP of £16.99. It is available on Amazon and in all good book shops.

 

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