Tips for parent-teacher conferences

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Tips for parent-teacher conferences

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Collaborations with teachers are key parenting task. I want to think of it like my co-parent. I never want to disagree with that other person in front of my child. If I do - if that's the top 10 song in my family complaining about the teacher, I can explain to hear that all the time from my kid. I want to collaborate with the teacher. I want to go to every parent-teacher conference that is offered to me even if my kids are doing well to show respect to their efforts. I want to be a few minutes early. I want to take notes. I want to listen raptly to everything teacher has to say. I want to affirm what I agree with. I want to affirm the teacher's effort proportionate and specifically like I praise my kid and I want to give empathy for the teacher's effort. If I haven't heard about my kid's strengths, I want to ask about them - hat do you see my kid's strengths be? If there's any problems, I want to get the teacher's perspective on it. I don't feel there a need to share any problems at home - that's not really the task of the teacher to hear that. But I want to collaborate with them. I want a solution to any problems maybe. I want to follow up with a thank you note and maybe an email especially if there's a plan that articulates what we're going to do. If that doesn't work right away then I want to involve other people like a child psychologist. Lastly, I want to talk about homework. How much time my kid's homework is taking. There's a good rule, the 10 minute guideline. A 6th grader, the research suggests that they work more than 60 minutes. 6th grade times 10 minutes. That they are getting the diminishing return on academic learning. Now, there maybe reasons why a 7th grader is spending more than 70 minutes but I want to at least engage the teacher in a dialog. I find a lot of teachers are surprised by how much homework is taking. And sometimes they want to cut it back when they get the information.

See David Palmiter, PhD, ABPP 's video on Tips for parent-teacher conferences...

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David Palmiter, PhD, ABPP

Psychologist & Author

Dr. David Palmiter is a professor of Psychology and Counseling at Marywood University. He is a practicing and board-certified clinical psychologist, a past president of the Pennsylvania Psychological Association, the author of over three dozen publications, including two books on promoting resilience in youth, a Fellow of the American Psychological Association (true of < 6% of psychologists), the American Academy of Clinical Psychology and the Pennsylvania Psychological Association in youth. He has also given hundreds of workshops on family issues for organizations such as The Navy SEAL Foundation, The Master Therapist Series at the University of Connecticut, The American Psychological Association and the McGraw-Hill Financial Group and completed hundreds of media projects for outlets such as CNN, The New York Times, US News and World Report and the Wall Street Journal. David is also a dad of three (two studying at Cornell University and one still in high school) and husband of 27 years to Dr. Lia Richards-Palmiter. A central aspect of his professional mission is to put air under the wings of parents as they try to raise happy and resilient children and teens.

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