Whether it’s a casual remark tossed aside by a childcare provider or an earnest discussion with a teacher or coach, there’s nothing quite as painful as hearing negative feedback regarding your child’s intellect, developmental pace or abilities. Everyone wants to believe that their child is Mary-Poppins “practically perfect in every way,” but that’s simply not the case. Children, just like adults, have their own individual strengths and weaknesses. Before you allow a poor evaluation to upset you and spoil your attitude, it’s wise to look for a course of action that will be both productive and reassuring.
Be Honest With Yourself
When you hear a teacher or childcare provider openly discuss a weakness that you know your child possesses, your natural instinct may be to cling to denial. It’s important to remember, though, that denying a problem exists will not make it go away. The first step to proactive and productive problem management is to accept the news you know is true, even if it’s something you don’t want to hear. After all, how will you begin to go about correcting an issue if you refuse to acknowledge it out of pride and fear?
The news that your child has not reached developmentally appropriate milestones for her age, that she may be exhibiting signs of a learning difference or that there are signs of a burgeoning behavioral problem is never easy to hear. Rather than tuning out when the negative words are spoken, force yourself to listen carefully to the assessment you’re receiving. You won’t be able to provide your child with the help that she needs if you’re too upset or afraid to listen closely, ask the appropriate questions and engage in a dialog with the professionals providing the evaluation. You also don’t want to jump to conclusions, falling under the misapprehension that the situation is far worse than it actually is, simply because you stopped listening when the conversation took a turn for the negative.