Family Systems and Schools

by Rod Smith
Fundamental of Family Systems and schools…
All relationships impact all relationships and the impact further impacts all relationships. The classroom is a living system (a bicycle is not; a frog is) and is constantly changing. The WHOLE is more than the PARTS. Systems resist change. Healthier people negotiate systems from strength not weakness or whining.
Your students come to school with an (usually invisible) entourage:
The helpful entourage:
• Empowers the best in the student without enabling undesirable behavior
• Offers authentic affirmation
• Supports personal responsibility
• Listens to teachers and the student without running interference
• Allows for both success and failure
• Gets out of the way as much as possible
• Allows school and peers and life to teach their inevitable lessons
The unhelpful entourage:
• Personalizes failure and resists its possibility
• Sees pressure as synonymous with love
• Runs interference for the child and shifts responsibility off the child
• Listens to teachers like a hungry lawyer or a suspicious police officer
• Seeks own salvation or deliverance through the child
• Confuses anxiety, attention, and reactivity with love
• Is a firewall so school, peers, and life cannot unfold and teach inevitable lessons
Tomorrow – leveraging the entourage for the common good

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