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Get Ahead Kids - Vol. 4, No. 1 - January/February 2012

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Back to School for Parents

By Amanda Tocci

You've polished the shoes, the uniforms are ironed, the pencils are sharpened and you've breathed a sigh of relief...yes it's back to school.
Those three words 'back to school' are filled with excitement, apprehension and relief not only for the children but for the parents.

For many parents 'back to school' can be a here we go again feeling, where they feel as though their voice is not heard, where their child seems to continuously struggle, where promises are made and this time next year they are saying once again, "here we go again."

But it does not have to be that way.

Back to school can be an enriching, empowering experience for parents where you are the advocate for your child because no one loves or knows your child better than you.

However you need to listen to those in the system, those with the education and experience to assist your child with right practices. But when right practices and common sense do not seem to prevail then you must act for your child.

No system is perfect. Perfection in education is a fallacy when so many variables exist. I am confident that every parent, especially mothers reading this will understand the strength of a mother's intuition or gut instinct. Yes, even mothers who are teachers have them.

Just like a new year's resolution, parents need to set new year's school resolutions to:

  • Listen to your child
  • Listen to the teacher
  • Listen to yourself
  • Act on behalf of your child with the support of the teacher

If you see any of the following in your child you may need further support from a psychologist or paediatrician.

  • Has your child's behaviour changed?
  • Is there negative self-talk?
  • Is your child refusing to go to school?
  • Is your child faking sickness?
  • Is there fighting & tears at homework time?
  • Has the child's appetite changed?

Good luck parents, remember to breathe, yes, it's back to school! Here we go again!

About Amanda

Amanda Tocci is a Literacy Specialist and Managing Director of the Australian Literacy Clinic Pty Ltd. Amanda is currently undertaking her PhD in Psychology at Newcastle University, investigating appropriate strategy instruction for children with working memory and reading disabilities. The Australian Literacy Clinic Pty Ltd is a specialist centre located in Maitland and Newcastle, working with families and schools in assessment, planning and intervention for children with reading difficulties.

If you would like a Reading Checklist then please visit If you would like to post a comment then please do so at

More Information

Amanda Tocci
Managing Director & Literacy Specialist
Australian Literacy Clinic Pty Ltd.
P: 1300 869 905


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