Advocating for Your Kids

I do not like conflict.

I think that’s a statement most can relate to.

Conflict is awkward. It is emotional. It changes relationships.

It can be so easy to just shove aside feelings and ignore issues to preserve the peace between ourselves and others. But what happens when the conflict is between your child and their teacher, or some other adult in their life? That child cannot bear the responsibility of resolving conflict between himself or herself and an adult. So whose responsibility is it?

Ours.

As parents, it is our responsibility to advocate for our children to ensure that their needs are adequately met. This can be something as simple as stepping in when a family member is playing too roughly with our child, or it can be seeking intervention from school administrators in resolving a child-teacher issue.

I’m not talking about taking over and doing everything for that child so that their life is easy and smooth.

I’m talking about being willing to take on conflict and whatever relationship change might occur to achieve justice for your child.

It’s SO hard, ya’ll.

But a 6 year old is not equipped to handle an adult’s unrealistic expectations. A 4 year old likely doesn’t recognize peer-to-peer bullying. A 10 year old doesn’t deserve to be berated by a coach. Those issues are up to us as parents to monitor and intervene. We are their safety net and shield against the injustices of the world, and it is our response to these issues that will teach them how to set boundaries of self-respect.

So next time your Mama gut is giving you a little uneasy queasy feeling about some situation your child is dealing with, listen to it. Intervene. Remind your child that you are on their side, and empower them with the confidence to handle hard situations when they become adults.