Until your child is mature enough and well informed to stand up for themselves, you, as a parent, are your child’s best advocate. You must understand your child’s strengths and shortcomings to be able to speak up for them in their stead. Mostly when it comes to matters concerning school or their well-being, being able to speak up for your child plays a huge role in providing the support they need to succeed. The following five tips will walk you through what you need to know to advocate for your child.
1. Get informed.
Before you can safely advocate for your child, you need to acquire information on the situation. First of all, you understand how your child was offended, be it a fight in school, perhaps they were sexually assaulted, or even involved in a fight in the neighborhood. Being informed of the situation at hand is vital and will allow you to know the best channels to advocate for your child in a manner that will yield positive results. Information will allow you to think rationally and make decisions in favor of your child before speaking up.
2. Build a healthy relationship.
This refers to the relationship between you and the team responsible for nurturing your child. They include their school teachers, peers, the school psychologist, or any other providers that serve your child. This will open up communication channels and make it easier to resolve any issues that occur. It would be best if you also strived to build a healthy relationship with your child based on trust. Knowing they can come to you when they’ve been offended, and you will speak up for them is a good mentality to develop. Children need their parents to be their protectors and guardians.
3. Understand it’s okay to speak up.
It may be uncomfortable at first to express your child’s needs to professionals, but you have to learn to do it because if you don’t speak up for them, who will? With time, you will overcome the difficulties of advocating for your child when you realize you are the only person they can rely on to do it for them. Being vocal about your child’s needs also allows them to grow since they learn to stand up for themselves by watching you stand up for them.
4. Write down your thoughts.
Write down the topics you wish to handle with your child’s professional, and explore more on the areas you feel affect your child in particular. This will allow you to structure your thoughts effectively and ensure you do not miss valuable points during your meeting with the professional involved. If it is your child’s therapist or doctor, make sure you research on terms you wish to clarify, as this will make it easier to converse with the doctor.
5. Ask questions.
Before consenting to programs or institutions that will impact your child’s life, be curious about the place’s culture and the staff. Please do not hold back on any questions you might have on any aspect of your child’s life since any mishaps may adversely affect their development. If you don’t feel confident enough to do it yourself, you can ask a relative or a friend for help, and they can help you stay on course during the conversation.
You should also talk to your child frequently and ask them how they’re faring. Learn about the challenges they’re facing in any environment, as this will help you speak up for your child better.