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Attending parent-teacher conferences with your ex

It's that time of year again. Many parent-teacher conferences take place throughout the Los Angeles area during fall months. For parents who are separated or divorced, the thought of being in an enclosed room discussing their child can be daunting. Nonetheless, it's a meeting that ultimately can help foster a strong relationship with your child and their teacher.

What can you do to make conferences go as seamless as possible? What topics should (and shouldn't) be discussed at conferences? Should you bring up issues concerning your divorce if they affect your child? 

As you prepare to attend conferences knowing your ex will be there, consider these factors:

  • The purpose of the meeting is to discuss your child and their progress in school
  • Teacher-parent communication is important for both parents
  • Most parents want to create a strong foundation with their child's teacher

How can you avoid confrontation? How can you focus on your relationship with the teacher as opposed to the issues with your ex? Think about (or even write down) questions you may have for your child's teacher. Have these questions ready when you go into the meeting and be ready to discuss those issues.

Stay focused. Remember that you are attending the meeting to discuss your son or daughter. Try to put other issues aside when you step into the room. If you have questions that directly impact your child's behavior at school that are related to custody or parenting time, be sure to frame those questions in an objective way.

While it can be challenging to meet with your ex (especially if your separation or divorce is recent), remember why you are there. You can help alleviate stress by preparing yourself before the meeting. Focus on keeping the conversation about your child and his or her abilities in the classroom.

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