I retired from my position as a Middle School Guidance Counselor effective 1/1/19, but I have been off for Christmas Holiday since 12/21/18. I took a long break from my blog to travel, reassess what I wanted to do during my retirement and to enjoy a new life style. With more than 20 years in education and more than 25 years of Executive Human Resources experience, I have been providing advice and counsel from the board room with the CEO, COO, corporate attorneys and other executives to a small conference room with confused and anxious parents.
My approach will be to provide some examples of situations (no identities revealed) that I have been personally or professionally involved with and my thoughts on methods and ideas to assist parents that have similar concerns. Not all situations are the same and an approach needs to be specific to that situation. With that said, there are a lot of differences in how effective parents approach helping their children make productive social, educational, career and financial decisions.
As an extreme example, my conversations with the great grandparents of a middle school student that is having educational and social issues is much different than my conversation with affluent and well educated parents that have lived with their children since birth. The former may have just had their four great grandchildren placed in their care because no one else in the family wanted that responsibility. Their financial resources, knowledge of technology and their values may be extremely different than the other family. There may be a big difference in the skill levels and level of confidence in the two students. In both cases the interventions need to be a product of a meeting that brings together all of the parties that have responsibility for that child’s performance.
From that first meeting, there needs to be agreement on who is responsible for what interventions. This needs to be clearly communicated and there needs to be specific dates that performance is evaluated. This may seem very controlled and analytic, but if we don’t actually establish a base line of facts, it is very difficult to develop meaningful interventions or to determine the amount of progress that was made. We also need to understand that we don’t just fix this by installing a new part. This is a process and will take time. The problem usually didn’t just start, but has been a gradual decline to the point that everyone wants something done right now.
My next blog will examine a specific problem and some thoughts on how to develop a plan. I would love to hear any thoughts or questions that anyone wants to present.