The new school year has begun or is beginning for many of us. Kids need to start getting on the new sleep schedule, parents need to start getting school supplies, books, clothes or uniforms, and everyone is starting to get back into the swing of things. It is a time when arguments start up between moms and dads and between kids and their parents. The stress of new schools, new schedules, new friends and old friends too, can be difficult.
While all these things are going on, mostly all at the same time, as parents we still need to make sure that all the household chores get done, that the bills are getting paid and that we take proper care of our children. Now, I know many of you who are reading this will probably say, “what is he talking about- taking care of my kids”? Of course I am taking care of my children, buying them clothes, making sure they have books for school, making sure that they are getting to sleep on time, getting up on time and making sure they eat breakfast before they leave the house. However, I am talking about something entirely different, something that I have found that many parents neglect, and it becomes very harmful to the kids.
Many parents feel that when they take their children to school, it is up to the teachers to make sure they are learning and growing properly. If their kids do well – that becomes wonderful. However, when kids don’t do well, many parents, instead of finding out what is wrong, tend to blame their children. They don’t blame the teacher or the system, but scream, yell and threaten their kids. I think that they believe that the child is intentionally not doing well just to spite them. Or that the kids like to be “bad”, or that kids like to get kicked out of the classroom, or be the butt of the jokes, or be called the “stupid one” in the class. Many parents allow the teachers to dictate what is wrong with their children, without even asking the kids what is wrong. Even if the kid complains that they don’t understand or can’t read, parents then yell that the child is not reading enough, that the child is lazy or that the child is trying to take the easy way. It never occurs to many of these parents, that their child has a learning problem, that their child needs help or needs extra tutoring. Many of the teachers just pass the kids through, year after year, never recognizing that the child has a learning problem or even a learning disability, inherited from their parents or a relative. Many of these kids are termed stupid, dumb, or uneducable by the system, without ever referring the child for professional assistance. There are so many kids and adults have I and other professionals seen, that could have been helped, that could have been GREAT, but for someone who cared to do something about it. We have seen so many 25 year olds that can’t read, because the system instead of teaching them in the way they could learn, just called them dumb, put them in the lowest classes and still graduated them, without being able to read. I don’t want that to be your child, your precious loved one.
So, give your child some time. Ask them how their day went, how school is going. Speak with their teachers; find out for yourself what is really happening. If your child has a learning issue, don’t expect the school to do something about it. You do something about it. As the parent, ask questions, call in a specialist, have your child tested and assessed by a neuropsychologist or educational psychologist, to pinpoint the exact what the problems. Find out how to modify your child’s program to help your child learn, how to get accommodations that will assist your child in the classroom.
The difference between a happy child and a sad child is where the parent cares enough to spend the time and make a difference. Having children is the easy part, making sure your child succeeds is where effective parenting can make a real difference.
If you need assistance, please feel free to call me at 954-455-0388. Working with adolescents and up, I have the resources and skills in order to assist your child to grow educationally and emotionally.
Dr. Howard Chusid is a Counseling Psychologist practicing in Hallandale and Coral Springs, Florida. He specializes in ADD/HD, PTSD and kids and adults who need some help!