What to do when the teacher calls; how to teach respect.

Dear Mrs. James,

I have already gotten a negative phone call home from the school regarding my daughter. I feel like since it has only been a couple of weeks, how could she already be in trouble? I feel like they're just picking on her based on last year. So my question is: what do I do if I feel like they are just picking on my daughter?

Sincerely,

Kourtney Henderson
Columbus

Dear Kourtney,

To answer your question, if you feel that your daughter is being picked on by adults, you need to schedule a meeting to talk with them personally. You must protect your daughter and stand up for her if you feel that she is being mistreated.

However, let me just be real with you. Teachers these days have on average over 100 students. They have papers to grade, meetings to attend, bulletin boards to decorate, and over a bazillion things to cut, paste, color, and copy. The LAST thing that most teachers have the time or the desire to do is call you and make up a story about your child.

If your daughter is already receiving negative phone calls home then she is more than likely exhibiting negative behavior. Nobody is picking on her. If her behavior last year wasn't up to par and she is displaying the same pattern this year, her teachers are probably trying to nip it in the bud before it becomes a problem.

Couple things to remember: (1) Trust and believe that a couple of weeks is MORE than enough time for a child to get into trouble. (2) You must stop making excuses for your daughter's behavior. If you continue to do so, you will hurt her more in the long run. Her peers will begin to isolate her and you may even notice a drop in grades due to her behavior. (3) Your daughter's teachers are on your team. Work with them to make her school experience an effective one. I'm on your team too! Email me if you have any more questions!

Keep up the good work!

Love,
Mrs. James

Dear Mrs. James,

I know you're big on children respecting adults at all costs. My question then is what if the teacher becomes disrespectful to my child? Shouldn't kids have a right to "defend" themselves?

Sincerely,

Brittany Laine
Columbus

Hi Brittany!

My sister's name is Brittany so if you don't mind, I'm going to answer this question like I would my own sister: honest and straight to the point with no sugar coating but wrapped in love.

You are right that I am big on respect. I don't believe it is appropriate for any child to be disrespectful to any adults at any time. It's just not a good value to instill into your child's belief system.

However, as much as I would like to believe that teachers are sugar and spice and everything nice, I realize that this isn't always the case. In the instance that a teacher disrespects your child, I believe that teacher needs to be corrected and put in the proper place. But it is your responsibility to handle the teacher; not your child's.

The rule in my house was that if an adult said something to me that I didn't like, I was never to respond "smartaleck" or disrespectful. If I did, I would have been "knocked into the middle of next week," as my mother would say. But if I ever felt disrespected, I was supposed to come to my mother and let her handle it. It worked out very well for me. Give that a try. Let me know how that works out!

Keep up the good work!

Love,
Mrs. James