Tools For Success II


FlyLady says, “The Savvy Parent’s Guide to Public School is all about helping you to give your children what they need to be as successful as they can be at school.  We have put this book together for those of you who want to participate in your child’s education but don’t know how.  For all of you who struggle with how to talk to teachers and administrators, this book will help you support your children’s education at home and effectively advocate for them in the school system.”

BACK TO SCHOOL SALE!  In celebration of the 2015/16 school year, the book and the book/workbook set will be offered at 25% off the Amazon price from September 7 through September 24, 2015.  ORDER YOUR COPY NOW at!!

Here’s an excerpt from the book, continued from last week:

Tools for Success: Be Positive and Think Long-Term!

Stay away from the Blame Game – we all make mistakes and most of us at least try to do our best.  Schools aren’t perfect, teachers aren’t perfect, parents aren’t perfect, and children aren’t perfect.  I’ve never met a parent who didn’t want the best for her child.  I may have disagreed with her methods or her priorities, but I’ve always believed that all parents want the best.  And I’ve never met a teacher who didn’t want the best for her students.  Again, I may have disagreed with her methods or priorities, but an interest in helping children is why people become teachers in the first place – it certainly isn’t for the money!  Work towards positive solutions rather than making excuses, and expect the school folks to do the same.  Excuses put a child on a dead-end road to nowhere.  It’s really hard to find your way back from nowhere.

Support school rules and disciplinary procedures.  Some of them seem dumb and rigid (some of them are dumb and rigid!), but for the most part the rules are there for the health and safety of all the students.  Stand up for your child when you need to, but don’t be angry or rude.  You can’t help your child if the school resource officer is barring the door and the teacher refuses to speak to you.  Work your way through the school bureaucracy until you are satisfied that you have been heard and your concerns have been addressed.  Always start with the teacher, then if necessary you can go to the principal, make an appointment with the superintendent of schools, or call a school board member.  Bring another family member or a good friend to these kinds of school meetings rather than coming alone – you’ll feel more confident about expressing your concerns and you won’t feel “ganged up” on.  Fathers are often more effective at expressing the family’s concerns than mothers, because they don’t get as emotionally upset.  It’s important to stand up for your child if you feel he was unfairly singled out, or if he was backed into a corner.  It’s important to stand up for the school if your child has done something wrong, because that’s the way he’ll learn to do better.  Many times the discipline procedures that are the most frustrating to parents have been imposed on schools by state legislatures and the Congress, and school folks don’t like it any more than you do.  “Zero-tolerance” laws are just that – completely intolerant of any mistakes that kids make.  And kids make lots of mistakes – it’s called “growing up”!

Think long-term.  We all get angry about short-term things, but it is those things that often add up in the end to an adult with a good character and a strong work ethic.  Ask yourself, “What difference will this make when my child is thirty years old?”  It will make a difference if your child learned to get along with others, complete assignments and take pride in his work.  It will not make a difference if he missed a recess or two or had to stay after school.  It is not the school’s job to make your child happy.  It is the school’s job to educate your child so that he can be a productive citizen and make himself happy.  The same can be said for parents – your job is to raise a good person, not to make your child happy on a day-to-day basis.  That’s what grandparents are for!

I hope you got some good ideas from today’s excerpt of Tools for Success – the last chapter in The Savvy Parent’s Guide to Public School.  We’ll continue next week with how to be a partner with school staff.

Excerpted from the book The Savvy Parent’s Guide to Public School, available on Amazon and at  All rights reserved.    



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