Being an advocate for your child is perhaps one of the most daunting tasks for a parent. It can immediately put you in an adversarial role with your child’s teacher, principal, doctor or therapist. However, since our children can not often speak for themselves, it is a role necessary for us to assume as a parent.
Here are some guidelines that might help you become an Advocate For Your Child:
1. You know your child best. You spend the most time with your child and know his/her personality, weaknesses and strengths. You see your child in many different kinds of settings and know best what your child can achieve.
2. You have the best interests of your child in mind. You care the most for your child and your child’s future. You can put your child’s interests first and foremost above all else.
3. You can best judge your child’s progress or lack of progress over time. You have seen your child grow from infancy and you can best judge what areas are your child’s strengths and also their weaknesses over time.
4. You know your child’s temperment and personality. You know if your child is shy, or outgoing, quiet or active, passive or agressive. You know in what settings your child responds well, and in what situations your child can shut down and not produce at all.
5. You know your child’s abilities in many different areas. You see the whole child, both in your home, among family and friends as well as in more social situations. You can tell if your child feels relaxed or tense, anxious or happy.
When you feel the need to meet with an adult caregiver, teacher, therapist or doctor on behalf of your child, remember you know your child best. It is up to you to represent your child and see that his/her needs are being met.
How do you advocate for your child?
In what situations do you feel most comfortable to be your child’s advocate?
What experiences have you had that made being your child’s advocate easy or difficult?