Flourishing Families 2021 Parent Resource Guide for Families with Special Needs

Page 20

Jody Lee Cates

Rebuilding Trust After Big Blunders Imagine arriving at school to pick up your child from the curb where he waits every day with an aide, but he’s not there. Or, picture your reaction if you discovered that the carefully crafted curriculum plan for your student was ignored because it was “too difficult to implement,” according to a substitute teacher. Unfortunate incidents like these often lead to heated conversations and broken relationships. But mistakes happen. Systems fail. Caregivers mess up. Even parents blow it from time to time.

Whether it’s a miscommunication or an actual failure, the bottom line is that when there’s a team of people helping to educate and care for your child, it’s likely that somewhere along the way, someone will let you (or your child) down. So, what do you do when a blunder seems insurmountable? First, assess whether or not the person in question is ultimately beneficial to your child’s well-being. When it’s in your child’s best interest to stay the course and repair the relationship, here’s how to rebuild trust and move forward with confidence.

20 • SNRFSD.org • SanDiegofamily.com • flourishing families 2021

Check your emotions and ask a lot of questions. Feeling frustrated or angry are normal reactions when something goes wrong, but angry demands are rarely productive. The most urgent concern is to discern and act immediately if your child is in danger. Once his safety is secure, start gathering information about the incident to gain a complete understanding of what happened. Take time to collect your thoughts and cool your emotions. Asking questions like “Can you help me understand how this happened?” will