In education, we often hear from teachers who think that without us, these kids and families would not know what to do!
One time, I had a teacher talk to me about students with disabilities, and she basically said that students with disabilities only get help or have structure. She didn’t realize that my daughter has Down syndrome and she was lumping my daughter in with this group of kids that would be lost if not for her and other educators like her. That rubbed me the wrong way.
In another instance, as I’ve talked about Home Visits, people have said, “Oh, you want to visit their home so you can see how awful their life is and have more empathy?” NO! I want to visit their homes so they know that we care enough to leave our ivory tower and go to them and tell them that we care.
Here are three tips on how to overcome it:
1. Don’t judge parents. Just stop it. Seriously.
2. Have positive intentions. H/T to Melinda Miller. Assume the best. Don’t make up their story for them. Learn from them, and ask them what they are doing! Don’t just assume we know what is going on.
3. Recognize the good that people are doing the best they can. The numbers of parents who are actively hurting their kids is remarkably small! Are parents struggling because they don’t have the skills, abilities, time, resources, etc. to be better? YES! I sure am! I am a well-educated, successful white dude and I still struggle to be as good a dad as I can be! That’s just the truth.
The truth is, our parents are awesome, and they are doing the best they can. Expectations and Mindsets are powerful, and if we believe parents are doing the best they can, we will see evidence of that. Let’s make sure the self-fulfilling prophecy and storyline that we have is that parents are amazing and doing great things!