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Parenting Issues This forum is for discussing any of the parenting issues involved in your divorce, including parenting of step-children.

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  #1  
Old 03-08-2016, 11:53 AM
dad2bandm dad2bandm is offline
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Default Communicating with other parent re: child/school issues

D7 has been having some behaviour issues at school. Her teacher called me last week, to let me know the details. Teacher had already spoke to Mom first and Mom apparently "okayed" teacher to talk to me? (not sure if teacher was actually looking for that "okay", or simply relaying that Mom is good with her speaking to me.

Anyway, D7 having some angry/tantrum/crying episodes during class. They seem to escalate when she is not getting her way about something, or something in class is not going the way she expects. Teacher has mentioned some episodes prior, but they seem to be getting more escalated and frequent as of late, she said. It seems this last one, would not de-escalate, and was getting pretty disruptive to the class, so they got another teacher involved that has more "skills" to handle this. Apparently, that teacher is the "special-ed" teacher. Probably more trained to handle outbursts and such.

So as usual I've talked with the teacher, and I've talked to D7, but I don't know what is causing this. The teacher mentioned that Mom said she's dealing with some issues at home, but didn't know what that entailed. This is news to me of course. D7 made vague references to these issues, but I certainly don't have enough info to know if there is an issue, or if that is her concern, or if she's just echoing Mom's comments. (is she bother by it...or is she bother by Mom's behaviour about it).

I always email Mom with communications, regarding D7. They are mostly ignored. This is less an issue, when I can try to circumvent Mom, and address on my own, but some of this stuff, seems to involve her, or requires some knowledge of what is up.

I also email her, to state things like;

My understanding of this situation sounds like X. Can you let me know if what has been communicated to me, aligns with the converstion you had with school? D7 has brought up Y. I don't really have any details of Y, so can you offer what D7 is speaking about, as I would like to clarify what Y is about.

Almost always ignored.

In-person conversation with her, remains a gong-show.
Which is why email is important.

When she does respond on important school issues, it's the usual crap responses similar to this one I just lately received:

(FYI, she gets her child support via email just fine - but email communication regarding child is always an issue, or a low priority for her. I can show months of ignored email communication. She either states she has no email access or access to Internet, or that she's too busy to bother with emails, it's not her job to check her email, etc, etc, rant, rant)


"Dad2bandm, I only checked my email today. You need to call me about D7 things. I asked teacher to call you because she can better explain issues she's seeing. I gaureentee she didn't say anything about issues at home. If you wanna discuss this call me. I'm not a machine, I'm a human and I'm not talking to a fucking computer dad2bandm. Get thathrough your head. When we need to change scheduling or discuss access email me. Otherwise use the damn phone!"

This is the "toned" version of her. This is what she writes in email to me, on issues such as this. For obvious reasons, in-person conversation is a no-go. In-person conversation has been tried, but she insists it's on her front-step, during child exchanges, and that ends up being idiot ranting, and no discussion on the issue at hand, at all, during the couple of minutes she will dedicate to this, on her front stoop.

I still insist on email, because of this, and because I want to show, that I am attempting to parent with her, on these issues.


The teacher obviously doesn't have any info about what the "issues at home" are, and it was the teacher who said Mom mentioned this. sigh. So, again, working in the dark here, and no communication from Mom, about the issue at hand, involved with D7, but instead stupid "pick up the phone" responses from her.
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Old 03-08-2016, 11:56 AM
dad2bandm dad2bandm is offline
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Her insistence on "pick up the phone!", seems to be to keep avoiding any email communication, and to then vaguely state "I discussed with Dad about this issue in person", when instead, she's just ranting at me, and not speaking to the D7 issues at all.
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Old 03-08-2016, 02:35 PM
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LovingFather32 LovingFather32 is offline
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Hi dad2bandm

First thing that should be done is to analyze any possible triggers at the school.
This can be done via ABC behavior tracking. A = Antecedent's (What happened just prior to the behavior) ; B = Behavior that occurred ; C = Consequences given.

The Antecedent's will identify patterns of potential triggers. For instance, if its always near the end of the day she could be tired. If it's when she with a particular student there could be some unhealthy social communication. If it's during a subject such as math it could be embarrassment because sh'es not as good at it and being teased.

Behavior is the most unpredictable thing in the world. My binders at work are thick with ABC sheets, notes and monthly graphing sheets. I learn the triggers first (functional assessment) and experiment with and modify different consequences.

I hope your school has done this important step. I'm ABA trained and am all about data collection. Once the trigers have been identified than there's a million amazing coping strategies to teach, in combination with social stories, body breaks and even sensory equipment (if needed). Some kids just need movement, so I put "therabands" around their chairs so they can kick it throughout the class.

Remember she's 7 and on an identity search. School is full of complex social situations (bullying, fitting in .. etc). Also the biological angle (hormones, etc). Often times students just need a "neutral" ear and positive reinforcement (i.e - We're so proud of you .. you're an amazing student .. you're going far in life. All the kids love you here.

Too bad mom wants to argue on the phone rather than have mature e-mail conversations about an important issue. Perhaps she'll change her tune. Keep in close contact with the teacher and ask if EA's (or other support) have identified any triggers. If they have no clue what you're talking about simply ask "When do the behaviors occur?" .. "What context"?..and "What was happening right before the behavior occurred". Also ask what they've tried. This data will provide many of the answers you're looking for.

[Edit] .. Man .. you're situation is a GREAT candidate for www.ourfamilywizard.com. Get it ordered ASAP.

Last edited by LovingFather32; 03-08-2016 at 02:43 PM. Reason: OFW
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Old 03-08-2016, 02:45 PM
dad2bandm dad2bandm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LovingFather32 View Post
...
First thing that should be done is to analyze any possible triggers at he school.
This can be done via ABC behavior tracking. A = Antecedent's (What happened just prior to the behavior) ; B = Behavior that occurred ; C = Consequences given...
Hey LF32.
Thanks for the information.

I'm not sure this has been done yet (or if they do this?), but I'm supposed to talk again with them, so hopefully, I'll have some more info when I do. The teacher wanted me to give them a chance to look into a couple of things first
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Old 03-08-2016, 02:50 PM
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Great. Also, please don't be surprised if the school social worker becomes involved. If mom said D7 is going though something at home. usually they bring in the social worker.

The school can help you get info this way .. (if anything is causing the behaviors while with mom) .. as the social worker will chat with you both about what has been discussed and found.

Also, you might want to politely remind the teacher that she's free to call you anytime in the absence of mom's permission (bring it up like it saving the teacher's time as you know she's super busy). Be the teacher's best friend. Thank her again and again for all the hard work she does with D7.
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Old 03-08-2016, 03:41 PM
dad2bandm dad2bandm is offline
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Originally Posted by LovingFather32 View Post
Great. Also, please don't be surprised if the school social worker becomes involved. If mom said D7 is going though something at home. usually they bring in the social worker.

The school can help you get info this way .. (if anything is causing the behaviors while with mom) .. as the social worker will chat with you both about what has been discussed and found.

Also, you might want to politely remind the teacher that she's free to call you anytime in the absence of mom's permission (bring it up like it saving the teacher's time as you know she's super busy). Be the teacher's best friend. Thank her again and again for all the hard work she does with D7.
It wouldn't surprise me, as it would not be the first time they have become involved for reasons that I had to find out about, no thanks to Mom. I don't even know if there are issues that Mom is dealing with at home (probably though), because I'm just stating what teacher relayed to me, which apparently Mom mentioned to her. But Mom seems to be claiming otherwise. I'm not sure why the teacher would say that, unless Mom specifically mentioned it to her.

Yep, everytime I talk to the teacher (or anyone at the school), they know they can call me for whatever reason.
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Old 03-08-2016, 04:06 PM
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arabian arabian is offline
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This may be a stupid question.... does the school not ever initiate meeting(s) for both you and your ex to attend together with staff?
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Old 03-08-2016, 08:03 PM
dad2bandm dad2bandm is offline
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Originally Posted by arabian View Post
This may be a stupid question.... does the school not ever initiate meeting(s) for both you and your ex to attend together with staff?
Hi Arabian,

Not yet. I think I'm going to ask for a school initiated meeting though if possible depending on what teacher says. I don't know.
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Old 03-08-2016, 08:49 PM
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I would hope so. While I admire teachers and what they do and all the people in the eduction field I see this is a problem IN THE CLASSROOM. If you and your ex were still together you would attend together and try to get to the root of the problem. It's just too convenient (IMO) for teachers to blame a problem on family issues unless they can come up with some specific information.

How is your child doing academically? Attendance good?

Hopefully you and your ex can get together on this and draw a line and ask MANY questions. Too often blame is put on the "divorce" - easy excuse for ineffective teaching and/or poor classroom control (perhaps the teacher has to buff up on time-out's etc.?)

Another thought - either you or your ex can "audit" the classroom to observe the behavioral problems. For all you know this is a shit-teacher.....

Something to think about anyhow.

Last edited by arabian; 03-08-2016 at 08:52 PM.
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Old 03-08-2016, 09:46 PM
standing on the sidelines standing on the sidelines is offline
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If she is acting out when she isn't getting her own way and when things are not going the way she thinks they are then I would start there.

Is she like that at home? Is she just going through a phase where she wants more control over certain things in her life? She couldn't control you guys staying together so maybe she wants to try and control other stuff?
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