I believe there is such a thing as overcommunicating. In many cases it is not very harmful. Here are a few exampels: you might just hear the same thing multiple times or receive more details than you actually need. Or keep getting information despite you are already up to speed and don’t need more.
Our school district is definitely overcommunicating. On paper and in theory, I am sure it looks like a great thing. Parents must be aware of everything down to the nitty-gritty details whatever happens to their child at school. All the grades, every little assignment, homework, single point deduction that might have happened, what and how teachers communicate, lessons available online, what questions they have to answer as a check in, etc.
Then there’s attendance. The daily schedules are online. You get notified if your child is missing a class. Or even if your child is late. Tardy is the word here.
After a while, even while things were going well I felt overwhelmed. That is just too much information. Maybe I am one of those old-school parents, who trust the school and the teachers and don’t need to know every little details.
When we started dealing with these mental health issues, this overcommunication because an additional burden on us as parents. Here is an example…
When panic hits, one safety mechanism we agreed on (therapist, school counselor, parents, child) was that she would have a code with the teacher and she would step out of class. Or if it gets worse, miss class. Or classes. Depends on how long it might take for her to calm down.
So we had a plan.
Now whenever that happens, I receive the following communication from the school district:
- text message
- phone call
- voicemail (as I ignore now calls from the school district)
- email to a second account they have somehow (not sure where or how I added that to the school district’s system)
And this list goes for both parents. Awesome.
Fortunately whenever she has a low moment, she let’s us know. Just so we are already aware of what is happening. With that notice, I know I am always on high alert until she gets home. But then going through the list above? I don’t need that, thank you.
I asked and there is no tool in the school district’s toolbox to stop at least some of that communication flowing to us. So much for technology enabling us solving problems…
Since by now, it is getting harder and harder for me to stay unaffected by the “episodes”, anything attached to them, such as this overcommunication is making it that much harder. I have a routine to quickly delete each of these notices in a single push. That runs the risk of ignoring a notice that might actually be important. Well, we will just have to deal with that separately I guess.