Home, School, and Community
- Describe the conflicting emotions the parent may have that contribute to this fear. In your response, include two negative emotions and a positive desire.
Parents might have conflicting emotions that might contribute to the fear that teachers will replace them in their children’s affection.
One negative emotion that a parent might have regarding the fear of having teachers replace them is that criticizing or questioning teachers on how they handle their children could lead to the victimization of their children (Gestwicki, 2016). It is common to find parents not happy in the way teachers handle children in class or with the activities that children engage in while in class. At times, parents are tempted to question the teacher or request their children to be treated differently. Besides, some parents feel like they are not sure of how teachers will treat their children in the absence of the parent. One positive desire from this negative emotion is that their child is treated well and that the child is not punished for things that he or she has not done. Besides, the parent might not want the teacher to instill fear in the child.
Another negative emotion from parents is that they fear their children will form a more affectionate relationship with their children. Attachment is a two way process whereby a parent and a child have certain emotional needs that need to be fully met. However, some parents feel like teachers take up their position as the key emotional giver. In such situations, parents might shy away from engaging teachers in the development of their child by asking them how the child is fairing.
However, one positive desire from this negative emotion is that every parent wants her child to become independent and joyful even when he or she is away from the parent. The reason for taking children to school is training them to become independent and learn to interact with other people. This is an important aspect of social growth that teaches children to trust other people, interact with them and form attachments.
- What does research show about the child’s relationship with the primary parental figure when the child has additional attachments to other people?
Research has shown that a child’s relationship with his or her parent is not eroded or undermined when the child forms attachment with other people. This is despite many parents having fear that their position as the primary parental figure will be lost when their children start school and form attachments with teachers. According to the attachment theory, attachment refers to the relationship between a parent and a child with the intention of making the child feel safe and secure (Hong & Park, 2012). The purpose of this attachment is to make a parent the caregiver, the playmate, the disciplinarian and the teacher.
If the attachment to the parent is secure, then the child knows that a teacher or a sibling could also help them when need arises but that person should not replace the main parental figure. As long as the main parental figure is visibly present in the life of the child, the attachment to the parent as the key caregiver and protector remains the same even when the child has additional attachments with other people.
There are of course some situations whereby some other people like teachers, siblings and extended family members might try to compete with a child’s emotional affection with the main parental figure. In such situations, these people feel like they could do a better job being the caregiver or protector of that child. Feelings of jealously and competition might also cause other people to try getting closer to a child. However, even in such situations, research has shown that additional attachments do not negatively affect a child’s relationship with the primary care giver (Hong & Park, 2012).
- Describe three issues related to role confusion that a teacher may feel or may communicate.
Teachers might feel or communicate different issues related to role confusions. Such issues might include defensiveness, reluctance to involve parents, and lack of communication.
Whereas the role of the teacher is to impart knowledge and social skills in children, some teachers are unsure of their social role in children leading to defensiveness. Teachers who are unsure of their abilities and role might fear being given negative feedback and as a result, they tend to be defensive. A defensive teacher might appear to be too professional and will have answers to every question. However, this is only a professional mast that some teachers hide behind when they feel intimidated by parents. A defensive teachers might not acknowledge the role and contributions of parents towards the development if the children in the classroom setting.
Another issue related to role confusion is reluctance to involve parents in their children’s activities in the school setting. According to Gestwicki, some teachers fail to involve parents because they feel like parents have no role to play in the classroom setting (2016). Some teachers feel like they should take responsibility for every classroom activity and that parents should not be involved. Besides the role confusion related to the parent’s responsibility in the classroom setting might make the teacher feel like there is no need to partner with parents in the classroom setting. This leads to reduced parent-teacher partnership.
Role confusion could also lead to the issue of lack of communication or poor communication between a teacher and a parent. Whereas a parent has a right to enquire about the progress of their child in the classroom setting, some teachers might feel like they do not have to keep on communicating with the parent. Besides, some teachers lack communications skills and this could cause them to communicate less with parents.
- What can a teacher do to reinforce the primary relationship between the parent and the child and to communicate that the teacher does not desire to take the parent’s place in the child’s life?
Teachers can do different things to reinforce the relationship between a child and a parent and communicate that the teacher is not trying to replace the parent’s place. One thing that teachers can do is develop a partnership with parents. In this partnership, every party should demonstrate his or her knowledge and skills for the good of the child. Teachers should encourage information sharing in these partnerships and encourage parents to ask questions and make suggestions on what they feel would be good for the children. Partnerships should be beneficial and no party should feel sidelined.
Another thing that would help teachers to reinforce the primary relationship between the parent and the child is to understand the role of teachers and how it differs from the role of the parent. According to Gestwicki, teaching and parenting are clearly distinct and each party should understand their role (2016). For instance, whereas the scope of functions of a parent is diffuse and limitless, the scope of functions for teachers is specific and limited. Teachers should therefore demonstrate that they understand their role and that they allow parents to also perform their roles.
Another way of reinforcing parent-child relationships and communicating that a teacher does not desire to take the place of the parent is to create a parent-friendly environment in the classroom setting. Parents want to know how their children are behaving or being treated in the classroom setting to get assurance that teachers are not taking their place as parents. Therefore, teachers should always welcome parents to the classroom and involve them in upcoming events like fun days and talent shows.