dear amy: My son is 8 years old and is very talkative and curious. He asks a lot of “why” questions that don’t always match the current conversation but are about a previous topic.
His two reading teachers have said he is disrespectful and does not participate enough in class.
We have also talked to teachers and them about this.
He comes home with completed papers, performs well on spelling tests and is above grade level on reading assessments.
It doesn’t matter what they say and what we see when we come home.
We’ve asked for examples of situations when he’s been disrespectful so we can talk to him about it, but the teacher tends to be vague and won’t give any examples.
His other teachers say he is kind and helpful, and also a bit talkative, but they say he is on the right track and doing well.
We would like to help resolve the issue with his reading teachers, but cannot find direct answers.
He sometimes comes home crying because his reading teachers react very negatively towards him.
He is a good child (only child) and we don’t think he is abusive at home. He is very creative, artistic and generally a happy and easy going guy.
Any advice on how to deal with this?
My mother-in-law says to let it go because she’s fine, but I don’t know.
I’m worried that I can’t see anything, and this is uncharted territory for me.
Dear Unknown: Your son’s teacher is telling you that your son has problems in his class – or creates problems.
Without details or examples, you have no way to train your son to behave better. It is ironic (to say the least) that their reading teachers communicate so poorly.
You should start by emailing both teachers. Thank them for teaching your son and explain simply and briefly that you are eager to help resolve some of the issues he has raised.
You can engage them more thoroughly if you basically leave yourself at their mercy by adding something like, “We are first-time parents and he is our only child, so we have educational Or have no prior experience in dealing with learning problems. We really want to help him succeed, so please describe very clearly and specifically any behavior you feel needs improvement. We welcome your specific suggestions and guidance on how to help him become the respectful and engaged student you deserve.
After this forceful plea for help, you should also escalate the issue to an academic counselor and/or principal. Meeting with these teachers in person will help give you a game plan, and it may also put the school administration on notice that these particular teachers are not setting your son up for success in school.
This is an important stage for your son. He may emerge as a lively little boy who is excited to learn, or a frustrated child who doesn’t like going to school.
dear amy: I picked up my husband’s phone and found a private message for a woman he works with. It started with, “Hey, beautiful.”
I looked at his profile on Facebook and underneath the photos he posted of himself, he was saying things like “absolutely gorgeous” and “beautiful.”
She had surgery and we both posted about the surgery on FB, but she messaged me privately asking how it went. I say she could have read the post like everyone else, and apparently she did because she left a heart emoji on the post.
He says that all this is absolutely innocent and there is nothing wrong in it. I say there is something very wrong with it.
What do you say?
– dissatisfied wife
Dear Dissatisfied: I wonder if you were engaged in similar private communication with another person whom your husband had never met, how your husband would react: “Hey, very handsome!” “Pretty!” “Hubba hubba…”
The most important thing is not whether it is “wrong”, “innocent” or somewhere in between, but how it makes you feel.
I suggest you discuss it not by labeling the behavior, but by describing your feelings.
dear amy:Your advice to “regrettably” was backward. This older couple moved across the country to be with their kids, and when they decided they made a mistake and moved back, you sided with their kids!
dear upset: “Regretful” decided to proceed in a hurry, and immediately changed course. I appreciated that he took responsibility for the impact of his “pandemic panic.”
You can email Amy Dickinson at [email protected] or send a letter to Ask Amy, PO Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.