I overheard a conversation today where a mother was telling of her horrible experience at a teacher parent conference.
From what I could understand the teachers, there were two of them, were explaining to her everything that was wrong with her child. She said she bit her tongue and said nothing in her child’s defence.
I certainly understand this reaction. I was a young mom and often didn’t know how to handle things when someone criticized my son; I felt my age made me unqualified to stick up for my child. As I have grown, watched and listened I always come to the same conclusion — stick up for your child. There is no one in the world that will go to bat for a child like a parent will. This does not mean ignore what is being said, as that offers a disservice to your child too, but we do get to dictate how our child is treated. If someone is going to talk about our children that way, then how are they treating them?
I wish this woman had someone tell her it’s ok to speak on her son’s behalf if that is what she truly wanted. To say, “I understand you have some concerns, but you don’t have permission to use that language when talking about my child.”
Why do adults feel children don’t deserve the same level of respectful conversation, whether they are in the room or not, as we give other adults? Why do we as parents, feel we shouldn’t be able to stick up for our children? If we don’t believe in our kids whole-heartedly, who will? This is not giving permission to discard areas children need to work on and this is not saying your child is perfect. There needs to be room for growth, but there are acceptable and unacceptable ways for this to happen.
When was the last time you stuck up for your child? I mean really had their back? It’s important as it creates security. How would you have been different if when you were a child, in need of support, that someone was there saying you were amazing and going to bat for you?