Falcon HS Band and Orchestra

What to do when your child complains about his teacher

Student blowing steam

When your child comes home and says, "My teacher is mean" or "She didn't teach me 'nuthin today," how should you respond?


Our first instinct is to offer advice. Maybe we want to jump in and say something like, "Well if you applied yourself, then maybe this wouldn't happen." Could you imagine saying this to a spouse who came home and told you about their hard day at the office?


Here's the best response to the child...

Listen...With Empathy. 

Just let the child tell you about the teacher and listen without offering advice. In my experience as a teacher, well over 90% of the teachers are caring, thoughtful people who know their subject well and have your child's best intentions at heart, but let's suppose this is a teacher in that 10% category.

Isn't your child going to have bosses to deal with that are difficult? If they have no experience in dealing with difficult people as a 16 year old, how will they know how to deal with a difficult boss at age 25.


If you do feel you need to step in and help your child, contact the teacher first. Adolescent brains are still developing (until age 25 according to the experts) and there is often a disconnect between what they hear at school and what gets reported by the time they get home.

I have had parents who were angry at me when they contacted me, but they had only heard half the story. Once they heard the full story in context, they realized we were both on the same side.



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