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WHY YOUR CHILD’S SCHOOL NEEDS TO BE INVOLVED:

We have all heard the expression, “It takes a village to raise a child.” This has never been more true than it is when we talk about kids with trauma. These children need a team that is caring and commitment to helping them heal.

TEAMWORK

As parents, it is often scary to approach the school and share your child’s story. It opens you up to judgement by those who don’t understand.

However, by not sharing the fact that your child has gone through adverse children experience, teachers don’t know how to help and are more likely to make assumptions. Your child’s teachers want to help, and can only do so when everyone is informed and working together.

YOUR CHILD'S TEACHERS CAN BE PART OF THE SOLUTION.

Teachers are human beings who get frustrated and who feel lost at times. Understanding your child’s story can cause a paradigm shift, which then lets the teacher look through a different lens.

They might still feel lost and frustrated, but they will have more understanding and will have the right resources to help. You also become a support system for each other as you navigate these still uncharted waters.

HOW TO SHARE YOUR STORY:

I, Shelley Holloway, founder of Mindware Academy and Connected Compassion, have been on both ends of this – the teacher listening and the ‘substitute’ mom of a teen who has experienced trauma. As the teacher listening, I recommend asking for some time to sit with the teacher and start by sharing the parts you feel you can share. You don’t have to share everything, but share the main ones – adoption, foster care, abuse. Explain the impact these have had – how does your child act when feeling overwhelmed or scared. Share strategies that do work at home.

As the substitute mom (we need a word for those of us who have stepped into the role but are not legally foster parents and are not adoptive parents), I have found an email is sometimes easiest, especially for an older teen who doesn’t want the entire story told. I have simply said that this teen has had a very traumatic past, lives with us now and this is how he responds when feeling overwhelmed or threatened. Most teachers are very empathetic and want to know how to help.

Continue to work as a team. Teachers welcome this and parents need this support.