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As my first parents evening is fastly approaching i was wondering how you all word things when you are trying to describe more challenging children.

 

For example for a child who is generally naughty and often lashes out.

On the other hand what about a child who has not made very much academic progress throughout the year and you know that their parent thinks otherwise!! Sorry-please don't think i am a negative person-Im actually very positive-its just that i don't want to skim over these as i feel it is important parents are told this!

 

Does this make sense?? I'm not sure!! :o

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Hi Alysha,

I am sure you are very positive, but it does the children and their families no favours to hide anything you are concerned about ... but obviously there are ways to say difficult messages.

I have had children who frequently hurt others and have made observations or event sampling records (actually I like to show all parents an event sampling record to illustrate aspects of their social behaviour (a simple table with quick observations every 5 minutes which shows time, place, who child with, what happened, language used and comments) ... then you are not just making a random statement which can make the parents be a bit defensive. One of my children in September was often pinching others and I made an observation and could talk about an incident and explain how he found it difficult to share and would pinch others as in the example. I said I was concerned as it affected his ability to make friendships, I asked about how he played with his brother at home and not surprisingly his Mum spoke of a similar pattern, we could then talk about how we could work together to address it. I think it helps to get families on side and help them feel we are working together for the same end and not attacking them, but saying everything is fine when you don't think it is is not fair on anyone.

 

I would use phrases like 'S/he can be aggressive with others ... and would benefit from developing his listening skills .... or could achieve a great deal more if they ..... (persevered more, listened to advice etc...)

 

Hope this is of some use ! I find it helps to make some brief notes about each child as you'll be amazed how befuddled your brain gets !! (Strengths and areas to develop)... and I've got 49 sets of parents to chat to this year !!!!!

 

Good luck, I always feel very appreciated after a parents evening and shattered !

 

Galleon :D

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I think it is important to say there is nothing worse than a parent turning around and saying we were never told etc. However you need to be tactic as noone likes to hear their little ones criticised and parents can soon get defensive.

I always start postively for the child outline strenghs and quallities. Then just say that while they have all these strengths etc you have some concerns about blah blah and you are sure they would want to know so that together you can support their child in developing the skills to share etc. Then thank them for their support and end postively.

 

I have had a few sticky ones in the past. I have found that if I have clear written notes as a crib sheet it under each elg you can begin to raise issues under heading of social development - still working on developing skills in this area etc...

 

Also keep a brief record of what you say to parents and what is said to you, so they cant turn around and say they didnt know.

 

Hope this helps.

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