George Lucas Educational Foundation

Lack of Parent Support

Lack of Parent Support

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I have a student that is struggling academically and behaviorally. I have been meeting with her parents since the beginning of the school year offering and stating my insights, concerns, and giving and sending home academic ideas. All I get is a bad response from them in many ways. I've been informed that these parents are tough to work with, but feel confused as to what to do and how to deal with them and their uninvolvement with their child who struggles academically. I work one on one daily with her, she recieves title one support, and paraprofessional support daily, and I send home activites for her to complete. Am I on the right track? How should I deal with her parents who feel I am not doing enough when they are not supporting me or her in school?

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Joselyn Iglesia's picture

You are doing all you can do. We cannot really control the decisions that the parents make to not take part in their child's academic growth, unless their is negligence or visible abuse. Our intervention can only be to use all the resources available to us for this student and make learning and school a positive part of this child's day, since it might be the ONLY amazing part of the day for your student. I would recommend speaking with the guidance counselor at your school or even the school liason who is a good connection between the students and the parents. I would even suggest calling the parent every week and saying something good about the week, a learning moment or an accomplishment reached by their child. I would even invite them to the classroom as an invitation to see what their child's day looks like, make them part in a different kind of a way and they might very well not retaliate so much. Many times the parents only hear the negative, they get discouraged as well as we do sometimes.

Jessie's picture

Often times we tend to tell parents things rather than treat them like a team member. The ultimate goal of all of us is to help the child be successful even if home success looks different from school success (which seems like a lack of support from parents and can frustrate us). We need to keep that in mind when dealing with parents and instead of telling parents what we want them to do, ask them what helps them at home with their child or listen to them tell stories about their child to gain insights on the student. Hopefully that will built trust and open the lines of communication and parents might even ask for tips to help their child be more successful at school. Something to try, but if that doesn't work there is only so much we can control once the students leave. We just have to do the best we can with the time we are given.

Kari's picture

I completely understand the situation that you are dealing with. I agree with Joselyn and Jesse in that we can only do the best we can with their child while they are at school. I have a very similar situation going on in my classroom. This student is having behavior issues and I have attempted many times to contact home for some advice on what has worked and not worked before. The response I received was very negative and completely aimed at me both as a professional and as a person. Now I am afraid to even try to communicate at all with these parents whether it be positive or negative. I try to just do the best that I can with this student and not let the negativity overcome me. I hope you are able to find a solution that is helpful to both you and this student. Good luck!

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