Create a Nice Relationship with Your ADHD Kid’s Trainer
Having a child with ADHD really reinforced the importance of building a good working relationship with their teacher. Being married to a teacher didn’t hurt either. It reminded me to look at things from that perspective too.
While we all know that relationships are critical to success in life, we sometimes overlook the importance of having a relationship with our child’s teacher. When we really stop and think about it, teachers, along with parents, are often among the most influential people in your child’s life.
So, as a parent, what can you do to support this relationship?
Here are 20 ideas – from both my personal and professional perspectives – for you to build a great relationship with your ADHD child’s teacher:
- Try to find a good match with the personality / style of the teacher and your child. While schools don’t just provide you with the teacher you want, they are open to “good matches”.
- Support your teachers. Let them know you know they have lots of other kids in the classroom and limited resources. Empathy and understanding go far.
- Give them positive feedback when the things they are doing are going well. The teachers most likely came into the field to help the children study. First and foremost, they are helpers at heart and appreciate being perceived as helpful.
- Be sensible in your inquiries. Just ask for what you really need and let them know why you need it.
- Do you have a limited time frame for what you need – ie “For the next 2 weeks I need information about whether he can stay focused.”
- As a parent, initiate the necessary responses, keep them short, and automate as much as possible. Teachers have a lot of students to keep track of. It is often easier for them to respond than to be expected to initiate.
- Don’t wait for the teachers’ conference. Ask for an earlier connection. When problems arise – act quickly.
- Gift cards, especially for books, are generally more valued than candy and candy.
- Use email as often as possible to update updates instead of calling them (unless they request something else).
- Ask the teacher what you can do by your side to support your son or daughter.
- Know how much time your child should spend on homework and how much help you should give. As a rule of thumb, each grade level requires a total of 10 minutes. If your child is spending significantly more time and / or in need of significantly more support, it may be time to speak to your teaching and health care team.
- It often helps to let the teacher know what you are doing by your side – i.e. advice, coaching, medication, tutoring, physical activities, etc.
- As much as possible, do not save your child from the consequences. It can mask the difficulties that need to be addressed and / or overcome.
- Help your child develop strategies, structures and supports to help them remember objects, do homework, etc.
- You may need a formal 504 / IEP plan. Even if this teacher is great, next year’s teacher may not be. They can also be expelled from accommodation if no strategies have been formally established. Find out what is available. Consider bringing in an attorney if it doesn’t work.
- Teach your children to be respectful and appreciative of their teachers.
- Thank the teacher in writing and send copies to the administration for special support or at the end of the year.
- Share strategies that have worked or that you think might work.
- Encourage your child to be part of the academic team – including 504 / IEP meetings and challenge decisions.
- Self-advocacy is a critical success factor for your child’s development.
Do you have any additional strategies to share? Please pass them on. Have you tried any of the above? Please share how it went. I wish you all the best for your child’s success in school.