The school, the community, and the home are tending to work together more closely for the welfare of the child and adolescent than they did in former years. 1. Parent-Teacher Associations: Each school chapter holds monthly meetings for the purpose of considering, as a group, the ways in which the organisation can be of service to the school. It is becoming customary to invite guest speakers to some of these meetings with whom the attending group members discuss particular aspects of child-rearing and guidance. On occasion, the principal, a member of the guidance staff, or another qualified person is asked to attend a meeting in order to clarify school policy and procedures, such as curricular offerings, instructional techniques, promotions and class placement, available guidance services, and similar matters of concern to parents. In addition to these monthly meetings, small committees serve in specific areas. These functional meetings often are led by a member of the school guidance staff.
Such sessions offer excellent opportunities for informally administered guidance of parents. 2. Child-Study Groups: We have referred to these groups earlier. A small group of parents meets once a week, usually between one and three o’clock in the afternoon.
During a period of from four to six weeks, the group is led by a counsellor in the study of an aspect of child development and adjustment chosen by the parents. 3. Difficulties Encountered: The various approaches to parent guidance in group situations have great potential value. Counsellors often find that when they are dealing with a young person’s problem, it is the parent, not the child who needs guidance. When parents avail themselves of opportunities to improve their own attitudes and behaviour in relation to their child, many of the latter’s maladjusiive experiences can be avoided. School counsellors sometimes are faced with a difficult situation. Often a mother devotes considerable time and energy to cooperating with the school in every way possible in order to become a better parent.
Her intent is to learn how to utilise preventive measures as the helps guide her child’s activities. This type of parent takes her responsibilities so seriously that, without meaning to, she intimidates the child. Hence it becomes the counsellor’s task, in group sessions or in individual conferences, to try to teach the parent the difference between sympathetic guidance and too-strict discipline. Most discouraging to the counsellor is the attitude displayed by a father or mother who evinces no interest or concern about the child’s school progress.