Updated: Jun 17, 2020
1. Go with a perspective that you are all on the same team.
If you do need to advocate for your child whether in school, with medical professionals, sports teams or anywhere else it is best to go with an attitude of unity. You can be the coach, but be willing to listen and take feedback.
2. Realize your power and voice as a parent!
Trust your instinct as a parent and claim your power and voice. You are the expert on your child. You are their parent for a reason! They were sent to you specifically. You are the BEST parent for them! If the professionals aren't listening to you, keep talking. If you don't feel they are doing what is in the best interest of your child, go higher and find someone who will listen.
2. Be strong, but calm
You can be firm in your desires, but it is always better to stay calm. Many times I have written a heated email, but I don't send it. I wait for at least 24 hours then re-read and often delete and rewrite another based purely on facts. It might feel good to get your anger out, but it won't get you very far.
Get a notebook and write down specifics of what you are seeing. If they are being bullied or there are issues with a teacher or coach or medical issues, or they have special needs. You won't remember details later, especially in the heat of the moment.
4. Have your child's back ALWAYS!!
You are their advocate, cheerleader and #1 person. Let them know that you are always there no matter what. It doesn't matter if they are making poor choices, they can know you see the best in them. It doesn't mean there aren't consequences, what it means is you are there no matter the circumstance. Be their soft place to land