I was brought up when it was said that children should be “seen and not heard.” Decades later, kids are encouraged to advocate for themselves in many areas of their lives. Sometimes, though, they need help.
Parents can be strong advocates for their children. While children aren’t always happy when a parent steps in, they often come to the conclusion it worked out for the best.
Whether it be at school or at the doctor’s office, I’m a firmer believer that a parent knows their child better than anyone else. Parents see their kids at the best and at the worst. They know when something isn’t quite right. That’s why they are the best advocates a child has. Here are a few tips when you find yourself in a place where you need to advocate for your child.
Talk to Your Child First
A sit down between parent and child before a visit to a teacher helps her know how important she is to you and it avoids that awkward moment when the teacher mentions you came by. It also gives your child a chance to provide any other information she might have forgotten before.
This is a tough one for some of us. My husband says my head is so hard it could split a rock. When you’re advocating for your child, you’re searching for a solution to a problem. Not having an open mind can make it harder to find one.
State Your Concerns Respectfully
You might not agree with the teacher or doctor, but they deserve to be treated with respect. I have to admit that the Mama Bear comes out in me when I’m advocating for my children. Staying calm and focusing on finding the best solution to help your child will keep you on track.
None of us enjoys conflict, but when we allow a problem to go on too long it can be harder to find the right solution. Getting involved early can help prevent the issue from becoming a larger concern. In addition, there might be more viable solutions than if you wait.
Before you advocate for your child and during the entire process the most important thing you can do is pray. Pray for guidance. Pray you’ll be open-minded and respectful. Pray for all those involved in helping to solve the problem. And pray for God to reveal the best solution. For it is when we allow God’s hand in our lives that we are the most blessed.
The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. – James 5:16 (ESV)