Maintain the Program while Your Child Is Away from You
Most parents are concerned about how their children behave while away from their direct influence. Fortunately your program can help you to monitor your child and to extend your influence outside your home. To accomplish this, you need a responsible adult or trusted and mature teenager to observe and report back to you about your child’s behavior when you are not there.
While the same approach can be used in settings as diverse as soccer practice, scout meetings, or sleepovers, school is more often of concern. Therefore, below are detailed guidelines for working with your child’s teacher, should you and the teacher agree extra help is needed.
Note that with suitable modification, the same approach can be applied anywhere you make comparable arrangements.
Step 1: Create a Partnership with the Teacher
Remember that while your specific child is your main concern, teachers have to remain equally committed to all of their students. Therefore, whatever you ask of your child’s teacher has to fit into her many duties.
Arrange to meet with the teacher to discuss your child’s behavior. Tell her about your home program in enough detail that she’ll understand your approach. Describe your specific concerns about your child’s school behavior and performance and tell her that you would like to extend your home program to help your child become more responsible at school, by reinforcing specific appropriate school behaviors. Ask the teacher for her observations of your child and about any specific concerns she has, recognizing that she likely knows better than you can in what areas your child most needs help. By establishing a clear partnership, your joint efforts will be far more effective than anything you can do alone.
Most teachers agree to work with parents, although their levels of enthusiasm vary somewhat. Only a few times in my years of working with families did parents report that teachers refused to participate in the program. Nearly all of those, after I called to clarify the approach, agreed to do their parts.