When it comes to education and parenting, communication is key.
It's also hard.
Parent-Teacher conferences (and other conversations about your kids' success), like any good thing, can potentially become a problem. Put another way, there's a ditch on both sides of the road. On the one hand, you might dread conferences because you don't want to hear all the negatives. On the other hand, you might love conferences as an ego-stroking opportunity, living vicariously through the success of your child. In either case, we need some healthy balance as parents. Here's what we should remember:
First, God holds our children in the palm of his hand. He loves them like a perfect father, and he will not forsake them.
Second, we should take long views. Where our children are now is not where they will be later. Children develop, and the struggles they face today will not last forever. Likewise, the ease they have with academics or social interactions today may not be the same ease in future years. We should encourage and prepare them for the future by thinking long-term. Put another way, look at the video of your child's life, not the daily snapshot.
Third, remember that education is difficult by nature. Training hurts. If it didn't, there would be no progress. As you speak frankly with your teachers, and as they speak frankly about your children, remember that education is the right kind of pain, the right kind of work. All children struggle academically and socially on some level, and this is a normal part of the wonderful and arduous journey that education is.
Fourth, know that ACA loves your children. Love involves both praise and correction, and your teachers want what is best for your child. This means that they will speak honestly with you, and it means that you can speak honestly with them. We are all God's children, all part of the single body of Christ, and this should give us confidence as we partner in educating our children for his glory.