Part of being a proactive parent is getting involved in your child’s school life – and since school is now opened, be sure to take the time to get to know your child’s Guidance School Counselor. Here are some excellent tips offered from ASCA. Be prepared – be educated – it will help you help your teen.
- Understand the expertise and responsibilities of your child’s school counselor. School counselors make a measurable impact in every student’s life, assisting with academic, career and personal/social development. Professional school counselors are trained in both educating and counseling, allowing them to function as a facilitator between parents, teachers and the student in matters concerning the student’s goals, abilities and any areas needing improvement. School counselors provide services not only to students in need, but to all students.
- Meet or contact your child’s school counselor at least three times per school year. The beginning of a school year is an excellent opportunity to initiate contact with your child’s school counselor and doing so can ensure your child’s positive school experience. Find out who the counselor is and what his or her experience and background are. By communicating with one another at the beginning, middle, and end of the school year, parents and counselors can have a definite impact on a child’s success.
- Discuss your child’s challenges and concerns with the school counselor. As a parent, you know your child best. However, the school counselor can help you better understand your child as a student. It’s important to encourage your child’s expression of needs, hopes and frustrations. School counselors are trained to help your children.
- Learn about your child’s school and social connections from the school counselor. When you need information or assistance, your child’s school counselor can help you get in touch with the appropriate school officials; learn about school policies on behavior, attendance, and dress; know the school calendar of important dates and stay connected with the school in many other ways. The school counselor can also help you locate resources in the community when you need them.
- Work with the school counselor to identify resources and find solutions to problems. If your child is having a problem at school, it is important to work with your child’s school counselor to find solutions. Discuss resources available within and outside of the school, and get information on how such programs can benefit your child. Your school counselor can be a valuable partner in your child’s education and preparation for life beyond school.