Helping Parents

What Parents Experience

Communication skills are a must-have for teachers! This is true not only within the classroom but also when working with parents. In order to be the best advocate you can be for your students, you must work hand-in-hand with parents to get children the care they need. 

Engaging effectively with parents can be a challenge all its own. The articles below address a wide variety of situations and types of families you may need to work with while advocating for a student. 


Three Steps to Follow When a Parent Discloses Their Child's Mental Illness

Three Steps to Follow When a Parent Discloses Their Child's Mental Illness

In your line of work, you’re used to parents calling you with concerns about their child’s academic performance, behavior, or friend issues. Whether they’re significant issues or unfounded concerns, you’re an expert when it com…

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As a Teacher How Can You and the School Help?

As a Teacher How Can You and the School Help?

“Kids spend six hours a day in school, and mental health is essential to learning. So schools that are very data-driven understand that in order for some kids to succeed, their mental health needs must be met,” writes Darcy Gru…

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For Educators: Confrontational Parent Meetings

For Educators: Confrontational Parent Meetings

You check your inbox and notice a new email pop up from a parent who is requesting a meeting. Your stomach sinks; these are the conversations you dread because they often turn into a blame game that leaves both you and the pare…

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For Educators: Engaging Hispanic Families

For Educators: Engaging Hispanic Families

Recent research has found that 15% of Latina teenagers reported attempting suicide in the past year, compared to only 8% of African-Americans and non-Hispanic Caucasian girls. As educators and youth professionals, it’s importan…

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For Educators: Multi-generational Families

For Educators: Multi-generational Families

Many families are made up of what clinicians refer to as a “multi-generational family.” This means that a parent has their own parent(s) or older family members living in the home with them, their partner and their child(ren). …

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For Educators: Military Families

For Educators: Military Families

Mrs. Lori A. Phipps is the Military Dependent Education Specialist for Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. Her Military Child Education Program - School Liaison Office is known as the best MCE Program in the Air Force and i…

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How to Help Refugee Children

How to Help Refugee Children

Since 1980, there have been about 3 million refugees who have resettled in the US and 35-40% of them were children, according to the organization Bridging Refugee Youth & Child Services. Being exposed to a range of physical and…

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Understanding Foster Children's Needs

Understanding Foster Children's Needs

For children who grow up in foster care, life is unpredictable. They have to struggle with the instability that comes with moving from family to family, while trying to cope with the reasons why they are unable to stay with the…

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How Teachers Can Coach Parents During COVID-19

How Teachers Can Coach Parents During COVID-19

Parents are looking to you for guidance and best practices as they try to navigate their “new normal.” You can help coach them by sharing some of the wisdom you have learned as an educator to help make their, and your students’…

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How Teachers Can Talk to Parents Who Don’t Believe Mental Illness Is Real

How Teachers Can Talk to Parents Who Don’t Believe Mental Illness Is Real

While parents would never take it personally if the nurse called and asked them to pick up a child with a stomach ache, there’s something different about the behavioral symptoms of brain differences

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From Adversaries To Allies: How Single Parents And Teachers Can Partner For Student Success

From Adversaries To Allies: How Single Parents And Teachers Can Partner For Student Success

I was resigned to go into yet another space where the people in charge would blame my poor parenting for my child’s inability to thrive. But something else happened instead, the beginning of a partnership that helped my child t…

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Family & Friends Handbook

If you would like to share this guide with parents, please send them this link:

What happens when parents of a child who experienced a mental health crisis try to explain the situation to family and friends?

Too often, the response is disappointing, frustrating, and maybe even hurtful. Parents may refrain from speaking up because it contributes to their increasing isolation.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, most family members and friends would help if they knew how.

“How can I help?” is a downloadable PDF guide intended to help relatives and friends understand and respond to these parents in helpful and appropriate ways.

In this handbook, family and friends will read:

  • What it’s like for parents to have a child in crisis,
  • What mental illness is: myths and realities,
  • What not to say when responding to the news of a mental health crisis,
  • How parents wished friends and relatives would respond,
  • What friends and relatives can do to really help parents who are on this journey.

This 16-page, beautifully illustrated and practical handbook was written with the input of a group of 10 parents who have been through this experience and want to help others. It tells the story in a powerful way, and gives practical advice that anyone can use to be a caring partner.


Download Guide