With the school year fully started, school supplies have been purchased, new clothes have been tried on, and new clubs and activities are clamoring for attention. For many parents, this is a reminder that the parent-teacher conference is coming up! Most schools hold at least one parent-teacher conference per year, and the fall is the most common time for this meeting. Whether you’re planning to quiz your child’s kindergarten teacher about your child’s ability to get into an Ivy League school, inquire if your teen is failing algebra for the third time, or just want to make sure the year is going the best it can , these questions take a step back from the normal “grades and homework” talk. A child psychologist in Highlands Ranch addresses some social and emotional aspects of school.
Does my child have friends?
School is about learning, but it is also about socializing, exploring peer boundaries, and navigating conflict. As adults, most people remember vivid fights on the playgrounds, secrets whispered between passing periods, and lonely lunches more than the specifics of learning how to read and write. Especially if your child is starting a new school, struggling with friends, or has had a history of bullying or victimization in the past, checking on his or her social life is a good start to understanding the fill picture.
How does she handle disappointments?
Every day isn’t going to be the best day—that’s just part of life. But how did your child react to that bad grade on a spelling test? What does she do when the other kids want to play a different game? For the parent who only hears that school went “fine” most days, a little insight can help identify early problems with coping or friendships.
Is he putting forth good effort, or just coasting by?
Many parents of high-achieving students wonder, why go to parent-teacher conferences? My kid’s getting all As, everything is great! However, this can be a good time to check in with teachers to make sure your child is really still motivated and engaged, not just benefitting from “easy” work. High-achieving students will go above and beyond , seek extra opportunities, or deepen their learning by helping others learn. Or, maybe he took an “easy” class to have more time to work through calculus homework. Understanding how your child’s teachers view him, and insight into how time is spent, can help you as a parent.
For a child and teen psychologist in Littleton, parent-teacher conference time equals plenty of new referrals! Keep in mind that you are not alone in helping your child to develop their fullest potential, and if concerns are raised that you need help with, don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Steven Lazarus for behavior and emotional strategies.