Build trust

Families have their own perspectives about what’s happening with their child. Take the time to ask for their input. When you do, you’ll invite family members to have an equal voice in the conversation and to respond with dignity. Because they know their child best, their knowledge and advice can be very useful.

Ask for the family’s perspective in an open-ended way that doesn’t impose your viewpoint. Make it clear you’re neither blaming them nor asking for them to come up with the solution all on their own. Keep the focus on finding solutions together. Below are some questions you can ask. Choose one or two from the list to start.

  • What are your thoughts on the situation?
  • Is this something you’ve noticed at home, too?
  • Has your child mentioned any of this to you? Would you share with me how [student] described the situation?
  • Is there anything else you’ve noticed at home that may be related to this concern?
  • Has [student] had difficulty in this area in the past? Can you share what has helped?
  • Are there things you do at home that might work at school?
  • Are there things that you know won’t go over well that I should avoid?
  • Is there a teacher who knows/works well with your child that you’d suggest I speak with?

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