I Am My Child’s Advocate

02.10.10


From time to time our kids need a voice that’s just a bit bigger than their own. I am my children’s advocate, how do you advocate for your child? The awesome ladies of Momversation had a few words, Asha, Daphne and Rebecca advocate for their kids, but we all have a very different take on it.

I really do want to know.

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9 responses to “I Am My Child’s Advocate”

  1. Okay, I sort of agree with all of you!

    I do advocate for my kids, but I also want to teach them to be their own advocates.

    For example, I advocate for societal, political and legislative changes that will make the world a better place for my children (and everyone else’s children). But I also want to pass on those values to my children and get them involved in social advocacy as early as possible.

    I advocate to make my son’s school a better place by participating in the parent’s committee and raising issues that I think are important. However, I do not interfere in individual issues that my son has with individual children or teachers. I encourage him to tackle those issues himself and will give him advice if he needs, but want him to figure out how to deal with other people.

  2. Sarah says:

    My son is quite young and still pretty much non-verbal (duh, he’s only 19 months old), so my job as his mother is still very much to be his advocate for all things. Most of it is simple (asking hubby to take son to story time on their days together while I am at work — easy), some of it more complex (persuing an early intervention evaluation for him when he struggled to make sounds and words and eat without gagging — not so easy). My job is to care for him and give him what he needs — not necessarily the best of everything (I don’t think that is necessary) but proper care and education is not the best, it’s the basics. And in some cases even the basics don’t get covered unless you advocate for what you and your child need.

  3. mrspop says:

    So… I am a fighter… I think at my son’s age, I MUST be. Since this is coming from an educational perspective, let me say first that I used to be a teacher. I taught 7th and 8th grade Language Arts in two different Texas public school districts.

    Being an “advocate” is called being an “involved parent” and there are far too few of those. Whether your child is deemed to have special needs, or be deemed “gifted and talented,” or fall anywhere in between, a parent MUST be present in their child’s education. A parent MUST know what their child is learning, MUST understand when their child is struggling, and MUST have a relationship with their child’s teacher. I’m not talking about hovering around or over-stepping boundaries, but if a parent doesn’t know what their child is actually doing, that parent cannot sit there and say that they are doing their part to raise their child.

    My son is in kindergarten. Let me tell you this year has been an eye-opener. I am just like my own mother in that I will work with the teacher and school and my son if he has a behavior issue, but if SOMEONE ELSE mistreats my child, I will go on the warpath. It is most definitely NOT at the expense of others. It is at the expense of the abuser… Whether it is a bully who choked my son from behind in the bathroom, or a substitute teacher who yelled at, degraded, called the class names, and denied the entire class food. Yeah. I had a hand in both the bully’s removal from the after-care program AND the removal of the substitute.

  4. Victoria says:

    I have done this since my first daughter was born 18 years ago. Recently though… My oldest daughter is a VERY accomplished singer and had to miss a few days of school due to being ill. While she was asent, her music teacher did the sign up for the solo/ensemble that my daughter ALWAYS attends every year. Another student was absent and the teacher went ahead and signed HER up and paid her $15, saying she could pay her back. MY DAUGHTER was just “forgotten” and oh well… So upon going back to school a day after this, my daughter comes home in tears telling me this story. This afore mentioned teacher and the drama teacher have both repeatedly done a million things to my daughter, probably a political/social whatever due to my boyfriend and I being very vocal and active in our community in a way that generally goes against the grain…

    As her mother, even though she recently turned 18 she is still my daughter and it is still my job and will be forever to basically make sure that she gets what she deserves. SO, I called the school the next day and spoke to the principal telling him that I was too upset to speak to the teacher. (!!!!!) He became upset because he knows of my daughters ability and he even said, “NOW SHE KNEW THAT SHE WOULD WANT TO GO! WHY WOULD SHE DO THIS TO HER!”. Anyhow, he paid the money and took care of the situation. My daughter did indeed go to solo/ensemble and got her group a 1 with her solo part of the ensemble and also got a 1 on her solo…

    I NEVER keep my mouth shut when it comes to my children. They are 18 and 6. They are not perfect and I know this, but I will take up for them EVERY SINGLE TIME if I know for sure that they are in the right…

    When my 18 year old was in 1st grade she came home and told me that her teacher had grabbed her arm… I went right to the school the next day and right to the classroom and told this teacher that although I loved her and all, I entrusted her with my daughter and she was to NEVER put her hand to her again no matter what- that being a teacher gave her no right to do that… NEVER< EVER! THEN, I went to talk to the principal… Like I told him, that is why so many children end up molested, abused, what ever and never speak out- they do not get listened to/believed… From the time my oldest was tiny, I ALWAYS let her speak… WHATEVER she had to say. If I was in a conversation, I would tell her she did have to wait until whoever was speaking would finish, but just because she was a child did not mean that what she had to say was not important or did not matter and she deserved to be heard. I still do that with my 6 year old… It makes me sick to see a parent shushing their child, or telling them- wait, wait, just a minute… How would that make an adult feel…

    So thank you for your blog, I just found it, and like it! Sorry I rambled but this is very close to my heart and always has been… I could go on forever!

  5. Dee says:

    Victoria, I totally agree with the things you said about being that advocate for your children however that part about people shushing their children and telling them to wait just a minute is conflicting because you previously stated that if you are in the middle of a conversation that have to wait for the other person to finish speaking first. I totally believe that children have a voice and should be heard but there is a decent time and place for everything so please consider that before making blanket statements. Example: If the preacher is preaching and your daughter wants to be heard unless its some type of emergency I don’t think waiting just a minute will hurt your little angel. Take Care

  6. Victoria says:

    I didn’t make it very clear, sorry about that… I meant the type of mother who stands there at the pool, wherever on her cell phone or talking to someone beside her about nothing basically going on and on and on- ignoring her child. The one who wouldn’t know if her child was still beside her or 1/2 mile down the road because she is too busy finding out who is doing what or whatever… There really are mothers like that and that is what I mean… I actually met a mother one time that sat yacking and threw pennies for her son to pick up off of the ground to keep him behaving. Try just teaching him to be good! Crazy!

  7. Dee says:

    Those examples make perfect sense Victoria. Thanks for clearing that up for me!

  8. Victoria says:

    That is okay Dee, just didn’t want you to get the wrong idea… :)

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