Law 1 – The only tape recording the school will never misplace is the one of you being sarcastic at an IEP meeting.
Law 2 – If you lose your temper and are rude to school staff during a meeting, that person will be connected to your child for the next 1,000 IEP meetings.
Our children need us to learn the skills necessary to behave well when we are in frustrating situations. They cannot afford for us to lose our tempers or learn on the job.
You need to expect that you will be… caught off guard when you don’t expect it.You need to expect that you will get upset. You need to have the skills to manage your emotions before this happens.
These tips (and the articles they are based on) provide alternatives to name-calling, temper outbursts, and other bad behavior that you will regret later.
Tips for Parents
1. Virtually nothing that happens during a school meetings needs an immediate response from you.
2, Avoid making decisions or taking action when you are angry and frustrated.
In From Emotions to Advocacy: The Parent’s Journey, Pam Wright describes roadblocks and obstacles parents face as they learn to be an effective advocate for their child. https://www.wrightslaw.com/advoc/articles/Emotions.html
3. Being assertive is not the same as auditioning for the bombastic Hall of Fame.
In Assertiveness and Effective Parent Advocacy, advocate Marie Sherrett explains how to be an assertive, effective parent advocate.
4. Disagreements between parents and school personnel are normal.
Problems arise from the manner in which disagreements are handled. As Pat Howey writes, “there are better ways to obtain positive results than roaring through meetings like a Mack Truck.” Read Advocate Pat Howey Talks about Reasonable Expectations, Power Struggles, and Perspectives