The Norman Transcript

April 25, 2014

Technology can interfere with parenting


The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Hi, I’m an eighth-grader and have a little sister in fifth grade. We love our mom and dad. They are always on their cell phones. When they ask us about how school was that day, we don’t think they even listen to our answers. We feel ignored and miss how we used to be when I was younger. We don’t want them mad at us, but how can we make them understand?

— B and B, Moore

Dear B and B,

Your email made us sad. This is such a huge problem in today’s technology centered society. How awesome that you all realize what is going on and want to change it. We hope other parents as well as yours will read this and realize what they are doing to their children, which is missing out on time that can never be regained.

Talking to your parents and telling them how you feel is a great start. Be positive and say something like, “I really miss talking to you because it seems like you’re always on your phone” instead of “why do you always ignore me?”

You might also show them this article and let them read for themselves how you are feeling. This would be a good icebreaker to start the conversation.

For parents in general, studies have shown that parent/child bonding is negatively affected by the extended use of mobile devices. Please put your phones down and spend quality time with your family while you can … and don’t use devices as a babysitter. You won’t be sorry.

Q: My wife and I have tried to communicate through email with one of our daughter’s teachers, with little success. We feel that our daughter is not respected and not receiving the grades she deserves.

We are just about on our last straw because she says papers aren’t returned and group partners receive different and even higher grades than she does. She says he loses her papers and that’s why she has a low grade.

We have noticed missing grades on Parent Portal because of this. Short of going to the superintendent, what other suggestions do you have?

— David and Patti, Oklahoma City

Dear David and Patti,

There are always two sides to every story. Have you actually met with the teacher in person?

Make an appointment through the counselor’s office and also include your daughter in this conference. Not that you don’t have an outstanding daughter, but sometimes things get miscommunicated. Group partners’ grades cannot be discussed and don’t have to be identical, as each student is responsible for a certain part of the project or assignment.

We are glad you use Parent Portal, but we have to tell you in all of our years as educators, we can count on one hand the number of assignments that were actually lost by the teacher.

Prepare a list of your concerns prior to the meeting to make sure you get the answers to everything in question. Feel free to contact the superintendent, but in this instance, you will likely be asked if you have met with the teacher. If not, you will be redirected, because the superintendent knows little about the specifics of this situation.

It’s always good practice to follow the proper chain of command. By meeting face to face with everyone involved, we feel the tension between you, the teacher and your daughter will be alleviated.

Please send questions to questions.classact@gmail.

com. Sally and Jeannie are certified school counselors with more than 50 years combined educational experience. Jeannie has two children, Sally three. The responses presented don’t necessarily reflect the views of any certain school district.

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