5 Ways in which teachers can provide emotional support to students coming from a broken family / single parents.


Being single parents or living in broken families is one of the major issues and has become a challenge in today’s era. As a society, we are often subjected to negative stereotypes about single parents and cultural messages about the importance of two-family households.

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In the education world, we as educators come across different types of learners. We all are apprehensive that students play a major role in an educator’s life. Similarly, there are certain roles and responsibilities for teachers to embark on in a learner’s life. Studies suggest that mentors could create a friendly, and positive environment in one’s life.

Students who perceive teachers as creating and caring, in a well-structured learning environment in which expectations are high, clear, and fair are more likely to report engagement in academics as well as in co-curricular activities.
Behaviour is communication, no matter it’s good, bad, or indifferent, it is a clear expression of our feelings and needs. There are many ways where a teacher could act as a powerhouse for the emotionally unstable student.

  • Replace the communication techniques: If a child is unable to complete the given tasks and assignment or is always lagging in work, a teacher should bridge the gap and this can be done by modifying your questions to ‘How’ instead of ‘Why? For instance: Why did u not complete it? Or why are you always late? How can I help you to complete the given task? Would you want to be given some extra time?
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  • It’s important that teachers open up lines of communication with children coming from single-family homes, and not make assumptions because every situation is different. Children of single parents, especially low-income ones, may have unique stressors placed on them.
    For example, They may be taking on additional responsibilities at home such as taking care of younger siblings, cleaning, or running household errands. In addition, they may be experiencing isolation and loneliness if their parent is busy working and they frequently come home to an empty house after school.
    Elders must communicate with children about their emotional needs, along with their academic needs. Having support from a trustworthy adult can positively impact a child for a lifetime.
  • Avoid embarrassment and practice compassion: When dealing with a student who is being disruptive, take them aside and explain the problem to them rather than reprimanding them in front of their classmates. Ensure them that the problem is with the behavior and not with them. As we know, no special accommodation can substitute patience, kindness, and flexibility. Teachers bring a great deal of compassion to the table, but it can be easy to let it fall to the wayside when you’ve got a classroom full of 30 students, 4 more lesson plans to get through, and can’t seem to get everyone to stay on the same page.
  • Proper communication with parents or guardians: Parents and guardians may see behaviors at home that you aren’t seeing in school and vice versa. Keeping open lines of communication with parents will create consistency in working with students who have emotional or behavioral struggles and minimize misunderstandings. Make a plan that helps
    you communicate regularly with parents who need more frequent contact than others so that they’re in the loop with what you’re seeing in the classroom, and they can fill you in on what’s going on at home.
  • Conduct a one-to-one interaction session with the child: Communication and interaction with the child will help him open up and pour his emotions out. The broken family atmosphere leads to various emotional stress and pain which the child keeps within. Interaction with the child will help him to speak his inner self. Make sure that the child is
    comfortable and his words are heard. He should be given proper feedback and solutions on the queries he imposes or the thoughts he exposes. Make him feel wanted and important. Positive reinforcement: A positive reinforcement serves as a booster for such children.
  • They feel motivated and encouraged. A small positive note serves as a big support for emotionally unstable children. Teachers must create a positive space, hold events, and design lessons for students about non-traditional family structures. Therefore, to conclude, Students with caring and supportive interpersonal relationships in
    school reports more positive academic attitudes and values with more satisfaction.

Author: Sumitra Goswami
Principal, Orchids-The International School, Kopar Khairane

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