Many teachers are quick to say family life should be less disruptive because of going on vacation, seeing a sick parent, or grandparents occasionally, causing the child’s disruptive behavior. This may seem reasonable because grandparents are supposedly very understanding and know how to help with their grandchildren. However, these teachers often fail to consider that grandparents can be just as unruly as their younger children, and the child may outgrow these disruptive traits. Grandparents may not have the patience, attention, and discipline skills necessary for raising a child well. They also do not have the same emotional resources to deal with a teenager who is already experiencing many growing pains and emotions.
Unfortunately, this problem is becoming more prevalent in many schools today, as many families have to split up because of a divorce. These children then experience an extended period of disruption in their family life. This includes missing school, having friends move away, and having parents who are constantly at odds with one another. All of these factors lead to a child not being able to socialize with other children his/her age. It is important for the teacher to recognize that a child may not be suffering from the typical symptoms of ADHD, but rather may be having a hard time fitting in because of the level of disruption his/her family lives.
When teachers see that a child has a hard time interacting with classmates, teachers should make an effort to create a positive learning environment for the child by encouraging family interactions. For example, a teacher might give homework assistance to a child who is homeschooled, and work with the grandparents to help the grandparents attend to their grandchildren. This may be especially true in cases where both parents have been mandated to divorce, or where a child is dealing with neglect or abuse.
It is important to remember that even though the grandparents may have access to the child, they are not considered part of the family. This means that teachers should avoid telling the grandparents about all activities the child is engaged in. In the past, many children were sent to live with grandparents when they were diagnosed with ADHD, as they felt like they did not belong in families. The best thing to do in situations like this is to encourage communication between the child and his/her primary care givers. By doing so, you can help to ensure that the child receives appropriate academic stimulation while feeling connected with his/her family.
It is also important to make sure that the teachers respect the grandparents as individuals. Most schools have policies prohibiting teachers from asking too many questions about family life, and from offering advice that directly applies to the child. If nothing is said about family life, teachers should ask the parents for permission to talk to the child about family matters. They may also want to take some information home with them on how to handle family financial and legal issues. If the information given by the teacher does not conflict with what the parents are told, then the issue will be allowed to lie dormant until it arises.
It is important to remember that family life has a tremendous impact on children. They tend to take their lives much more seriously when their parents are happy and involved. A child learns a great deal from his/her family. That is why it is so important to create an atmosphere of happiness within the family. If that isn’t happening, then you need to examine why it is the case. Many times, it is as simple as communicating with each other.