Children often find it hard to speak up for their own rights, needs, and interests. They might need someone to speak for them. And no one other than parents can be the best voice for their children. Advocating for your child means speaking up on their behalf – asking questions, voicing concerns, and requesting assistance. It is also important to teach your child to speak up.
But some parents find it difficult or cold when it comes to talking with school authorities or teachers. They believe it is not their place to speak. On the other hand, in situations where things aren’t going well at school, your child is vulnerable to harm, their needs are not addressed, or their rights are ignored, you must stand up to advocate for them. You are aware of your child’s talents, weaknesses, and hobbies. So, if others are making any decision for and about your child, you must ensure those are in your child’s best interest.
However, most parents often do not find it simple. But, you can get support from several student advocacy campaigns to help your child. Meanwhile, you can also find the following tips handy to help advocate for your child.
Learn what it Means to Advocate:
You may believe that it is crucial to be confident and knowledgeable enough to advocate for your child. However, “advocating” involves just speaking about your problems. You can also express yourself the way you are comfortable. You don’t need to be loud or speak in front of a group. You can advocate without being noisy and with a single individual, such as your child’s educator.
Don’t be Shy; it is Right to Speak Up:
You may feel it is not your space to be involved in your child’s education. It may even appear to be violating. But remember, if there’s something troubling your child, you should speak up. It is not impolite to express your worries. Teachers want their students to do well. They understand that families have a wealth of knowledge to contribute. You can join some campaigns for student advocacy that can help you realize the potential of advocating for your child.
Be Familiar with your Child’s Rights:
You will able to advocate for your child more effectively if you are aware of his, or her rights and the rulebooks of the system you are advocating in, such as education laws of K-12 school districts and regulations or the medical support your child is entitled to. It will also assist you in determining who is responsible for what in your child’s school or other services that your child utilizes. This way, you will know who to speak with and what to expect.
You can Seek Support:
You can always have external support to help advocate for your child. The Black Student Advocate Network runs student advocacy campaigns to support them and create a more inclusive and equitable school environment. We make every effort to ensure black students don’t face any challenges, and for this, we work on initiatives that also include educating parents on the basic rights of students.